Indian-American political commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was granted a full pardon by US President Donald Trump on Thursday. In 2014, D’Souza was convicted for violating federal campaign law and sentenced to five years probation by the Obama administration.
D’Souza, 57, was born in Mumbai. He hails from a Roman Catholic family from Goa. He has authored as many as 20 books, some of which have made it to the New York Times bestseller list. He has producer four movies, his latest being “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.” His movie ‘2016: Obama’s America’, in 2012, had become the second-highest-grossing political documentary film produced in the US. The film was based on his anti-Obama book.
He is an ardent supporter of Trump and an outspoken critic of former US President Barack Obama. He has previously launched campaigns against both Obama and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
In 2014, D’Souza pleaded guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution of $20,000 to a politician based in New York. He was charged for using straw donors to make illegal contributions to a 2012 Senate campaign for his friend Wendy Long. He was fined $30,000 and awarded five years probation, which included eight months of living under supervision in a “community confinement centre”.
On Thursday, Trump said D’Souza had been “treated very unfairly” by the government, and that his prosecution was politically motivated.
D’Souza thanked Trump for the pardon and for restoring his faith in the country. He tweeted, “Obama & his stooges tried to extinguish my American dream & destroy my faith in America. Thank you @realDonaldTrump for fully restoring both.”
“My heartfelt thanks to those who prayed for me, supported me & reached out on social media to President Trump to pardon me,” he added.
D’Souza also targeted the attorney who indicted him, Preet Bharara, for wanting to “destroy a fellow Indian American to advance his career”. He said “Karma is a b*tch” as Bharara was later fired by the Trump administration while he was let off. Bharara was appointed US attorney in Manhattan in 2009. He was one of the 69 appointees made during the Obama administration who were fired by Trump last year.