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.
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.”