Filmmaker and best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza, a vocal critic of the Obama administration, has been sentenced to eight months in a community confinement center and five years probation after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, TheBlaze reports. In May, D'Souza pleaded guilty to funneling contributions to Wendy Long's failed campaign for the U.S. Senate by arranging donations through "straw donors". But out of all the people who could have come under scrutiny for this violation, why has D'Souza been one of the few prosecuted? Glenn talked to him on radio this morning about what happened and where he goes from here.
D'Souza was also fined $30,000 and ordered to undergo therapeutic counseling. That last piece of information raised a red flag with Glenn, who asked why counseling was part of his sentence.
"Well, you know, the judge threw out this very remarkable and very suspenseful kind of hearing yesterday. He kept scratching his head and he said, 'Well, you're such a successful guy. You've worked in the White House and you've been a scholar and written all these books and made movies. I don't understand why you would do that'. And I tried to say why I did it. I said, 'Judge, I'm an immigrant. I left all my friends behind. I came to America. When I was at Dartmouth, I had a group of people very close to me who became in a sense more than friends, they almost become became surrogate family of my. One of them is Wendy Long and 25 years later she once for the U.S. senate, and I did this carelessly, foolishly, and I was trying to help her. I had no corrupt motive. I wasn't looking for an appointment. She didn't even know that I was putting in this extra money into her campaign. She was not even aware of it,'" D'Souza said.
"At the end of day I think he thought counseling could help me and I suppose I can't be harmed by it, and I'm happy to do it," he explained.
Why did the government aggressively come after D'Souza when cases like this don't usually end up with such a harsh sentence?
"The Obama Administration is insisting they aren't targeting me. They say they were not selectively prosecuting this guy. Some guy was saying this is a "routine audit:. But interesting, it's a routine audit that produced a single offender: me. And yesterday my attorney said there is not one man in the United States, who has not done what Dinesh D'Souza did who is sitting in prison. And yet this government has been watching this guy over the year, 10 to 16 months, somewhere in that range, in order for doing something with no corrupt intent whatsoever," D'Souza said.
"And what the government did, which I think was sleazy, was they picked the theories of cases, about eight of them I guess, in which people who had exceeded the campaign finance limit did get prison time. But in every single one of those cases there was corruption. In one case someone had done it before. In another case they were trying to buy certain types of appointments or get certain kinds of kickbacks. So what the government did was carefully omit the evidence of corruption from the description of the legal cases to fool the judge into thinking that this was normal to send people like me to prison, but the scheme didn't work. The judge saw through it. So the government tried to send me to prison and a federal judge, a Democratic appointee, looked him in the eye and basically said no," he added.
Overall, D'Souza was optimistic about the outcome of the sentencing. He will be able to continue his work in films and books, which he believes will be critical in the buildup to the 2016 Presidential election.
"I feel right now that the U.S. government made an attempt to really knock me down for the count. And they would have," D'Souza said. "I was worried that this would actually immobilize me from my work. But happily, with what I have now, a fair penalty for what I did, I'll be able to pay my debt to society."
After the interview, Glenn warned the audience that what happened to D'Souza could happen to any political opponent of those in power.
"He was targeted. But this is something we talked about. If you're doing something wrong, they will find out. And it doesn't have to be -- it doesn't have to be intentional. It doesn't have to be anything that big. They will take the smallest thing and they will twist it and make it look horrible," Glenn said.
"[D'Souza's] paying the price. And he's doing it with a glad heart and I think that's great," Glenn said. "And you know what I'm thinking, this is the first real political prisoner that I have seen this president - or this country - do this time around besides those who are journalists."
"Now, this is a little dicey because, you know -- it's not like he's Martin Luther King who is just speaking out. He did something wrong. But this is a political prisoner, make no mistake. He he was only prosecuted, they only found this stuff, because they were going through everything to stop him," Glenn said.
Front Page image courtesy of the AP.