There’s never a dull day with President Donald Trump in the White House.
His latest salvo, in typical style, was an announcement May 31 morning via Twitter that he would be pardoning a nationally recognized Indian-American conservative commentator and film-maker who pleaded guilty after being charged in 2014 for violating election laws related to campaign contributions.
“Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!” President Trump said, lighting up Twitter with pro and anti reactions, including one from D’Souza’s then prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, another nationally known Indian-American, but one who was fired by the President soon after he stepped into the White House.
“The President has the right to pardon but the facts are these: D’Souza intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct & the judge found no unfairness. The career prosecutors and agents did their job. Period,” responded Bharara in his tweet shortly thereafter.
Trump’s tweet garnered 72,000 likes immediately and counting as the day progressed, with comments from Trump loyalists and vitriolic opponents alike.
In his response, D’Souza said on Twitter, “(President Barack) Obama & his stooges tried to extinguish my American dream & destroy my faith in America. Thank you @realDonaldTrump for fully restoring both(.)”
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas had this to say when retweeting Trump’s announcement – “Bravo! @realDonaldTrump Dinesh was the subject of a political prosecution, brazenly targeted by the Obama administration bc of his political views. And he’s a powerful voice for freedom, systematically dismantling the lies of the Left—which is why they hate him. This is Justice.”
D’Souza, 57, has made several films, among them, “Hillary’s America” a hit among conservatives. D’Souza was sentenced to five years of probation, 8 months of supervision, and a $30,000 fine. “I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids. I deeply regret my conduct,” CNN quoted D’Souza saying during his hearing.
At the time of his prosecution, conservative commentators contended D’Souza was part of a witch hunt by liberals. The same year, another high profile Indian-American hotelier and Democratic fundraiser and known Hillary Clinton supporter, Sant Singh Chatwal, pleaded guilty to “conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (the “Election Act”) by making more than $180,000 in federal campaign donations to three candidates through straw donors who were reimbursed, and to witness tampering,” according to a Justice Department press release. He was sentenced to three years probation after the Judge received some 272 letters from prominent people supporting Chatwal, the New York Times reported.