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Proof D’Souza Knew He Was Breaking the Law

While Dinesh D’Souza makes the rounds of the right wing media spinning a tale of persecution, the New York Times reports that the government has pretty much definitive proof that he knew that he was breaking the law when he paid others to make campaign contributions to a Senate candidate in 2012. And it also involves that now-infamous adultery scandal he got caught up in at almost exactly the same time.

You may recall that in October, 2012 it came out that D’Souza had shared a hotel room at a Christian conference called Truth for a New Generation with a woman named Denise Joseph while both of them were still married (separated, apparently, but not divorced). When a Christian magazine broke that story, it led to D’Souza being fired from his job as president of King’s College. That conference took place about a month after the campaign contributions that have landed him in court on federal criminal charges.

Part of his defense for what he did was that he and his wife had been separated for a long time, with her living on the west coast and him on the east coast, but that apparently didn’t stop him from pretending that he was making a campaign contribution in her name as well as his:

The government, in its papers, asked that the judge, Richard M. Berman, allow it to introduce evidence that it says showed that Mr. D’Souza understood campaign contribution limits and rules when he arranged for the straw donations, and that he had even considered pleading guilty.

In March 2012, the government wrote, Mr. D’Souza contributed a check for $10,000 to the Long campaign, only to be told that the donation exceeded the $5,000 individual limit.

The campaign sent him a form requiring him to specify whether the contribution was from himself or a joint contribution with his wife, the government said.

A completed form was returned to the campaign reflecting that the $10,000 contribution came from Mr. D’Souza and his wife, prosecutors wrote, but they added that Mr. D’Souza’s wife has said that she did not authorize such a contribution or even know it was being made.

“The evidence of illegality with regard to his own and his wife’s contribution,” Mr. Bharara’s office wrote, “will help prove that the defendant knew that what he was doing in August 2012 was wrong and it was not a fleeting, accidental misjudgment; it was part of a larger pattern of flouting campaign finance limits he knew existed.”

So he and his wife were estranged, so it was okay for him to sleep with another woman, but not so estranged that he couldn’t use her to get around campaign contribution limits. The fact that he was told explicitly informed of those limits and then went on not only to violate them by making a contribution in the name of his wife who had no idea it was done, but also to solicit others to donate in their own names with his reimbursement, pretty much kills any serious legal defense in the case.

Ultimately, this is going to get settled with probation and a fine, I’m sure. Unless D’Souza really wants to be stupid about it and not accept a plea deal of that type, in which case it looks to me like he’s going to go down hard.

Comments

  1. dingojack says

    Ed – ” Unless D’Souza really wants to be stupid about it and not accept a plea deal of that type, in which case it looks to me like he’s going to go down hard.”

    Your mouth to the most noodley of appendages…..

    :0 Dingo

  2. says

    Don’t worry. In a couple of years, a decade at the most, this’ll all be legal anyway. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that the First Amendment protects my right to give my money to politicians in other peoples’ names.
    As long as it’s not quid pro quo corruption, it’s okay. And right after that quid pro quo corruption will be fine, too. I mean, if it’s legal to convince with speech my representatives to do something I want them do, and money is speech, then…

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    What law?

    You can’t show us anything about campaign contribution limits anywhere in the BIBLE!

  4. D Carter says

    ..and then the paid-off contributors, too–line ‘em up and into jail. A Souza queue.

  5. Childermass says

    If it is against the law for you to do it, you probably should consider that is almost certainly illegal for you to have someone else do it for you. You don’t need to be lawyer to figure that out.

  6. mikeyb says

    D’souza like his twin sister Ann Coulter has made a killing exploiting right wing ignorance and bigotry. And to think these two idiots are considered intellectuals in right wing world.

  7. felidae says

    Dinesh is running around bleating that he is being persecuted for his criticism of Obama. Having watched his debates with Hitchens and Dennett, he comes off as a shrill prevaricator whose sense of entitlement precludes any sense of responsibility for what he says or does. Just another right wing, theist asshole

  8. anubisprime says

    mikeyb (UTC -4)

    And to think these two idiots are considered intellectuals in right wing world

    Well to be fair…they are!

    Okay more by default then genius but still…

  9. says

    I haven’t followed this case closely, but as far as I can tell, D’Souza hasn’t actually put forth any kind of argument that he didn’t break the law. His defense is all about him being “persecuted” because the Obama administration had it out for him. We’re expected to believe that his guilt or innocence in the matter is irrelevant as long as the government went after him for the wrong reasons, the evidence for which is that they went after him at all.

  10. dogmeat says

    As long as it’s not quid pro quo corruption, it’s okay. And right after that quid pro quo corruption will be fine, too. I mean, if it’s legal to convince with speech my representatives to do something I want them do, and money is speech, then…

    Well really, elected officials are public servants. I just pay mine more directly than you do and he/she is more responsive to my desires. I mean c’mon, you do what your boss tells you to, right? If you wanted the government to do something, you should have hired them like I did.

  11. Artor says

    Unless D’Souza really wants to be stupid about it and not accept a plea deal of that type, in which case it looks to me like he’s going to go down hard.

    I don’t have a lot of faith, but I do have faith in the power of Dinesh D’Souza’s colossal stupidity. I look forward to seeing him fall right into a prison sentence.

  12. krubozumo says

    To paraphrase Ratty from Wind in the Willows – there is absolutely nothing finer than messing about in boat-loads of cash.

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