by Ed Brodow
President Trump has pardoned author, film producer, and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted in 2014 of a felony for violating campaign finance laws. D’Souza, an outspoken critic of Barack Obama, claimed that the conviction was politically motivated retribution by the Obama administration for the success of D’Souza’s 2012 movie, Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream. The significance of the pardon is that the president is attempting to undo the weaponization by the Obama administration of the power of the federal government against political opponents, and in so doing, to restore confidence in our legal system.
The claim that D’Souza was the victim of a politically motivated attack has attracted many supporters who believe the case smacks of Soviet-style injustice. “Dinesh was basically railroaded,” said author Ben Shapiro. “The vast majority of cases like this end in a fine. It seems a little coincidental that Dinesh D’Souza was making anti-Obama documentaries at just about the time that the Obama DOJ decided it was necessary that Dinesh go to jail. I think the idea that Dinesh went to jail for this is insane.”
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz agreed with Shapiro’s assessment. “The idea of charging him with a felony for this doesn’t sound like a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” said Dershowitz. “I can’t help but think that [D’Souza’s] politics have something to do with it…. It smacks of selective prosecution.” Dershowitz went on to say that campaign violations like this are common and do not result in imprisonment. D’Souza spent eight months in a detention facility with violent criminals. It certainly appears that Obama was out to get Mr. D’Souza.
“Hats off to the president,” said radio talk show host Mark Levin. “[D’Souza’s] prosecution and imprisonment by a hack Democrat prosecutor was outrageous. And there aren’t many GOP presidents who’d have the guts to do this, either.” Sen. Ted Cruz called D’Souza “a powerful voice for freedom, systematically dismantling the lies of the Left — which is why they hate him.” D’Souza, he said, “was the subject of a political prosecution.” Reacting to Trump’s pardon, Cruz said, “This is Justice.”
Explaining the reason for his pardon, the president agreed that D’Souza was treated “very unfairly by our government.” The White House issued a statement that, “Mr. D’Souza was, in the President’s opinion, a victim of selective prosecution. Mr. D’Souza accepted responsibility for his actions, and also completed community service by teaching English to citizens and immigrants seeking citizenship. In light of these facts, the president has determined that Mr. D’Souza is fully worthy of this pardon.”
“You got shafted by those guys,” the president told D’Souza. “You did something that should have gotten a slap on the wrist, a minor fine. I am going to set that right and clear your record.” Trump’s decision is supported by the growing body of evidence that the Obama administration weaponized the power of the federal government in order to undermine political opponents. Another example was the targeting of conservative taxpayers by the IRS. “Obama created a climate in which the potentially criminal misuse of the DOJ and the FBI, as currently being unraveled, was not just acceptable but perhaps encouraged,” wrote Monica Crowley in The Hill, “thereby giving rise to what could be the most dangerous scandal in American history.”
D’Souza recognizes that the Mueller investigation, essentially a holdover from the Obama presidency, is trying to do to Trump what the DOJ did to D’Souza. “Is Robert Mueller investigating a crime,” asks D’Souza, “or going in search of a crime? One is police work,” he says. “The other is characteristic of a police state.” Mark Levin has called the Mueller investigation an attempt by the Left to invalidate a presidential election.
It comes as no surprise that D’Souza’s pardon was criticized by the left-wing Washington Post. Putting a negative spin on Trump’s motivation, the Post alleged that Trump is “signaling his willingness to exercise his unilateral power to reward friends and allies while undercutting the work of his nemeses in law enforcement.” Actually, Trump is strengthening law enforcement by rejecting the previous administration’s contempt for the rule of law. “This restores my faith in America,” says D’Souza. The rest of us need to have our faith in the legal system restored after the damage done by Obama.
Ed Brodow is a political commentator, negotiation expert, and author of Tyranny of the Minority: How the Left is Destroying America.
Copyright © 2018 Ed Brodow. All rights reserved.