Dinesh D’Souza Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Violations

Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza ‘83 pleaded guilty on Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws. D’Souza admitted to using straw donors to funnel $20,000 to Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long ’82. The felony carries a maximum prison sentence of two years, though D’Souza’s plea may help him avoid significant jail time.

Dinesh D'Souza at Dartmouth

Dinesh D’Souza at Dartmouth

D’Souza confessed to reimbursing friends who donated to Long’s unsuccessful Congressional campaign against Congresswoman Kristen Gillibrand ’88. Gillibrand won the race by a landslide.

The plea came after D’Souza attempted to have the charges dismissed as politically motivated. D’Souza’s wildly successful 2016: Obama’s America harshly criticized President Obama. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the filings were examined as part of routine FBI review.

D’Souza and Long were both early staffers of the Review and have remained close ever since. After the infamous “Mein Kamp” fiasco, when a disgruntled staffer surreptitiously slipped Hitler’s words into the front page of paper, D’Souza and Long, both trustees of Review, returned to Hanover to address the situation.

Benjamin Brafman, D’Souza’s lawyer, will look to mitigate the sentence, which also carries up to a $250,000 fine.

“We are hopeful,” said Brafman, “that Judge Berman will recognize Mr. D’Souza to be a fundamentally honorable man who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive and responsible life.”

  • John James Cowperthwaite

    What a silly way to expose one’s self to compliance risk. Long was doomed to failure and 20k of illegal funds wouldn’t make a difference. This was just plain stupid – that 20k could have been simply given to a PAC which would work on behalf of Long.

    • A6

      It may be that you are an expert, Cowperthwaite; or, even if not, by coincidence perfectly correct on substance.

      But campaign finance law is notoriously complex and technical; and Internet comments are notoriously … seldom well-informed.

      The odds are that you are just an ordinary pompous undergraduate informed only by his political prejudices, blowing hot air with no idea what he’s talking about.

      Don’t let it spoil your summer vacation.

      • Jim Doughman

        Someone with D’Souza’s long experience in political journalism would know that reimbursing friends or acquaintances is clearly against the rules. More importantly, he could have just given the money himself to a PAC. D’Souza shames the conservative movement with such an avoidable offense.

        No complexity here, A6. It’s a shame that you do not have the balls to declare your conviction openly, instead choosing to hide behind an alias that few understand.