Trump tweets that he will pardon Dinesh D'Souza '83
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning that he will give a full pardon to conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza '83 for violating federal campaign finance laws.
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
D'Souza's conviction followed his use of straw donors to contribute to the Senate campaign of New York Republican Wendy Long '82, who was running against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand '88. D'Souza and Long both wrote for the conservative newspaper The Dartmouth Review while they were at the College together, and Politico reported in 2014 that "the two are longtime friends."
While D’Souza pled guilty to the charges in 2014, he later claimed he had been targeted by the office of then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara because of his conservative views. President Trump, citing that D’Souza was “treated very unfairly,” has decided to overturn the ruling, which included a sentence of five years of probation, a $30,000 fine and eight months of living under supervision in a halfway house.
According to CNN, a Justice Department spokesperson confirmed that Trump's pardon did not go through the department's Office of Pardon Attorney, though such pardons have been assisted by the office in the past. Since he has entered office, Trump has pardoned three other living people and commuted one sentence, and also issued a posthumous pardon to boxer Jack Johnson.
Updated May 31, 2018 to clarify whom D'Souza violated campaign finance laws to help.