On Thursday, conservative political author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was indicted on fraud charges under campaign finance law. He is being charged with using straw donors to funnel money to a political candidate that is a close friend during the 2012 election. The candidate is widely believed to be Wendy Long, a Republican Senate candidate that ran a losing campaign against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY.)
Under federal campaign finance law, individual donors are only allowed to donate up to $2,500 to a candidates campaign. Federal prosecutors are stating that D’Souza donated a total of $20,000 to a candidate’s campaign. He had other people donate in their names and then reimbursed those people himself. Therefore, he was able to provide money to his fried who was running and make it seem like others were contributing to skirt campaign finance laws. He is charged with making illegal donations and making false statements.
D’Souza is known mostly for his conspiracy theories about President Obama, which have been presented in the form of a book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, and a film based on that book, 2016: Obama’s America. In both, he states that Barack Obama is carrying out the political view of his father and other Kenyan tribesmen as POTUS, and that it is all based around anti-colonialism and that he dismisses American exceptionialism. Essentially, Obama is in office to bring down the United States in order to help other countries rise up and take over their oppressors. D’Souza argues that Obama wants to make America a third-world country and suffer at the hands of other countries that it has dominated for so long.
Considering D’Souza’s work and background, it is inevitable that many conservative mouthpieces would see a conspiracy at work here. In the end, the far-right seems to only deal with conspiracies anyway, and D’Souza made his name doing such, so it only makes sense. After the feds announced that D’Souza had been indicted, Matt Drudge, founder of The Drudge Report, tweeted this:
They are going after the Obama critics with indictments. VA Gov. Now Dinesh D’souza. Holder unleashing the dogs…
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 23, 2014
Drudge then suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder was going to go after Fox News as payback for their views and anti-Obama rhetoric:
Holder dangling ‘indictments’ over News Corp’s head too. Behavior modification… http://t.co/O2fwJO7xty
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 24, 2014
You will get this from all of the conservative defenders of D’Souza. All of the simplistic pundits that barter and deal in conspiracy theories and racist dog-whistles. People like Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and the like will all claim that the Obama is acting like a dictator and trying to silence all of his critics by sicking his goons on them.
However, past all the bluster, the fact remains that D’Souza broke the law. It is pretty clear. Even his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has pretty much admitted that he did it and that it is all just a misunderstanding.
“Simply put, there was no ‘quid pro quo’ in this case, nor was there even any knowledge by the candidate that campaign finance rules may have been violated. Mr. D’Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever. He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at worst, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”
See, it was all just so innocent. The candidate wasn’t aware that she was getting more money than she was allowed from one person, so there wasn’t any harm. D’Souza was just being a good friend and trying to help her out. Since he wasn’t asking for anything in return, there wasn’t any ill intent.
Except, there was. D’Souza knew that his friend needed more donations to run a better campaign. He had the money, but by law, wasn’t able to give it to her. So he setup a scheme knowing full well that it was illegal and that he’d face charges if caught. This wasn’t a friend innocently helping another friend out. This was one man knowingly breaking the law in order to give a politician more money. Simple as that. And no amount of bellyaching over Obama or liberals is going to change that.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).