D'Souza: I Was 'Stupid' but Prosecution Was Selective

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 09:58 PM

By Greg Richter

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Conservative scholar and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza says it was "wrong" and "stupid" of him to use friends to contribute more to a political campaign than allowed by law. But he still insists selective prosecution was involved.

D'Souza pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal election fraud charges, and could face prison time. He admitted to reimbursing two associates $10,000 each for money they gave to the campaign of New York U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long, a Republican running for the seat once held by Hillary Clinton.

D'Souza told Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" on Tuesday night that he had no intent to defraud and never denied making the reimbursements.

"That was wrong," D'Souza said. "It's an end-around campaign finance law. I acknowledge responsibility, and I did admit doing that from the beginning."

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Long's campaign was flailing and he wanted to help her, D'Souza said. "I just chose the wrong and stupid way to do it. I shouldn't have done it."

D'Souza was facing two charges: exceeding campaign finance limits and causing the Federal Election Commission to file a false report. The second charge carried a maximum of five years in prison.

D'Souza said he pleaded guilty to the first charge and the government agreed to drop the other one.

He attempted to mount a defense of selective prosecution because he has written or co-written and made films critical of President Barack Obama. The Justice Department is headed by Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder.

But the judge denied selective prosecution as a defense, so D'Souza would have faced a trial with no defense at all, he said. He therefore opted to make a plea.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former student of Dershowitz, both agreed the case was selective prosecution.

"You don't want to have a country where Lady Justice has one eye open and she winks at her friends and then gives the evil eye to her enemies," D'Souza said.

Sentencing is set for September, and D'Souza could face 10 to 16 months in prison.

Though the charges frightened him, D'Souza said he won't be deterred from speaking out on issues. His latest film, "America," opens in July.

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