President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he would issue a full pardon to National Review columnist Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions — a felony — back in 2014.
In a tweet, Trump said that D’Souza had been treated “unfairly” over the issue.
“Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!” the president said.
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
D’Souza’s conviction stemmed from contributions given to the campaign of New York Senate candidate Wendy Long. According to an FBI summary of the case, D’Souza skirted campaign finance laws by donating to Long under multiple assumed names.
“Dinesh D’Souza attempted to illegally contribute over $10,000 to a Senate campaign, willfully undermining the integrity of the campaign finance process,” said then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “Like many others before him, of all political stripes, he has had to answer for this crime – here with a felony conviction.”
Despite the conviction — which legally prevented him from voting for Trump in 2016 — D’Souza has remained a fixture in the right-wing media through his niche, but widely popular books and documentaries. His latest book, “The Big Lie,” claims that the American left is responsible for spreading fascist ideas in the United States.
“The Democratic left has an ideology virtually identical with fascism and routinely borrows tactics of intimidation and political terror from the Nazi Brownshirts,” reads a Barnes & Noble product description of the book.
In recent months, The National Review has faced pressure to remove D’Souza from its masthead over his increasingly outlandish behavior, which has included mocking school shooting survivors.