Gerald Molen — the Oscar-winning producer of Dinesh D'Souza's 2012 documentary, "2016: Obama's America" — is standing squarely behind his colleague, despite his surprise guilty plea
to making illegal campaign contributions.
"I'm deeply saddened. I know Dinesh and I know Dinesh's heart and I also believe very deeply that when he went out to help his friend with her campaign, he also wanted to help other people who wanted to contribute to it and ... got himself caught up in this," Molen, who co-produced "Schindler's List," told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"He's a friend of mine and if there's something that is found to be wrong in what he did, there ought to be consequences for it and that's not a necessary issue [to cause] me to walk away from a friend who I believe did a phenomenal job in promoting America.... So he made a mistake.''
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D'Souza, whose high-grossing film "2016: Obama's America" was highly critical of the president, admitted Tuesday to making illegal campaign contributions to a Senate candidate in New York.
The 53-year-old activist made the plea in federal court in Manhattan on the day his trial was to begin. He admitted two associates each gave $10,000 to Wendy Long's campaign with the understanding he would reimburse them.
"I did reimburse them," D'Souza told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman. "I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids. I deeply regret my conduct."
A plea agreement D'Souza signed calls for him not to challenge any prison sentence within the range of 10 months to 16 months.
Molen said D'Souza — who had maintained his innocence and had a large network of supporters — never discussed the possibility of copping a plea with him. And he said he does not agree with those critical of D'Souza for not coming clean with his supporters that he was guilty.
"I mean for crying out loud he listened to his attorneys and I'm sure he took their advice on what to say, what not to say until all the facts came out," Molen said.
Molen — whose other movie productions include "Jurassic Park,'' "Twister'' and "Minority Report" — added he still believes D'Souza is being prosecuted because of his criticism of the Obama administration.
"I believe it. The timing on the whole issue is just rather odd," Molen said.
"As I look at what's going on in the country today, I would still kind of believe that people need to be a little bit concerned. I mean we're talking about something here that had to do with campaign finance."
He said D'Souza's prosecution came despite the fact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had to reimburse
his own campaign for the purchase of close to $17,000 in holiday gifts that came from his granddaughter’s jewelry company.
"So yeah, I'm just a little concerned that it tends to be pushed towards the conservatives in an unfair way," Molen said.
The filmmaker added that D'Souza's case will not prevent him from making more movies.
"Absolutely not. I love this country, I love everything about it'' he said.
"The whole purpose is to reach out to people and educate all those that basically have been indoctrinated through all their lives [but] have no real understanding of what America's all about."
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