Trump Pardons Conservative Filmmaker D’Souza

Trump Pardons Conservative Filmmaker D’Souza

President Donald Trump on Thursday pardoned a conservative commentator and said he was considering pardoning lifestyle maven Martha Stewart and commuting a former IL governor's prison sentence, prompting critics to accuse him of subverting the rule of law.

Trump told reporters Thursday aboard Air Force One that Stewart was "to a certain extent. harshly and unfairly treated".

D'Souza also personally contributed $10,000 to the campaign of Republican Wendy Long, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in NY in 2012.

Blagojevich was convicted of corruption offenses including soliciting bribes for appointment to the U.S. Senate seat Obama vacated after being elected president in 2008. D'Souza pled guilty in May 2014, but did not face prison time.

A straw donor is a person who illegally uses another person's finances to make a political contribution in their own name.

Trump did not explain what he meant by saying that D'Souza had been treated unfairly, but the White House put out a statement saying that "D'Souza was, in the President's opinion, a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws". At the time, the maximum allowed per person was $5,000. Trump said on Twitter.

"Bravo! @realDonaldTrump", Ted Cruz, R-Tex., tweeted following the pardon announcement.

D'Souza also cited a recent news report about the possibility that comedian Rosie O'Donnell had made contributions over the legal limit to Democratic candidates and said the "far-left, Trump-bashing O'Donnell should get the same treatment" he did.

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"I'm relieved and elated and excited", D'Souza said.

D'Souza was prosecuted by Preet Bharara, who was sacked by Trump as United States attorney for the Southern District of NY, and is now a high-profile critic of the administration.

D'Souza's pardon is also possibly the first for Indian Americans, a tiny but prosperous community of 4 million that has been called a model minority for staying on the right side of law, among other things.

Before pleading guilty in 2014, D'Souza insisted on his innocence and claimed he was targeted for federal prosecution because of his anti-Obama views. D'Souza does not have an application on file, a Justice Department spokeswoman said.

Trump so far has granted five clemencies: four pardons and one sentence commutation.

Yes. Most presidents wait for the waning days of their administrations to issue high-profile pardons of associates and supporters.

Trump needs to stop winging it and set up some far less personal process - or be seen as using pardons merely to reward his cronies and punish his foes. D'Souza retweeted Trump's tweet but did not comment otherwise.

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