President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he plans to give a full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative political commentator and filmmaker convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution.
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump announced the move, arguing that D’Souza “was treated very unfairly by our government.”
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
He was sentenced to five years of probation and paid a $30,000 fine.
D’Souza and his associates have long argued that he was unfairly targeted by the Obama administration after he made a popular documentary in 2012 called “2016: Obama’s America,” which was critical of the former president.
D’Souza made the donations through a “straw donor,” using his own money to reimburse friends making donations in their name.
Campaign donations are under strict restrictions, and the use of “straw donors” constitutes campaign finance fraud under U.S. law, which states that “no person shall make a contribution in the name of another person or knowingly permit his name to be used to effect such a contribution, and no person shall knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another person.”
The president’s latest pardon comes after he issued a posthumous pardon for boxer Jack Johnson last week, the first black heavyweight champion, who was convicted under racially-charged conditions over a century ago.