Tags: dinesh dsouza | trump | pardon | obama | red-flagged

Dinesh D'Souza: Still 'Red-Flagged' for Obama Opposition, Despite Pardon

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Friday, 01 June 2018 07:54 AM

Filmmaker and author Dinesh D'Souza said Friday he didn't know his presidential pardon was coming until President Donald Trump called him personally.

He also told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" that he was targeted based on a film he made about the Obama administration, and even though he has been pardoned, his FBI files are "red-flagged" about his opposition to President Barack Obama.

"I was in my office just working away and the operator came on the line and said, 'is this Dinesh D'Souza?'" he said Friday, "And there was Trump."

He said the president told him he has been a "'great voice for freedom,'" and that "'I got to tell you, man-to-man, you have been screwed.'"

D'Souza said that Trump also told him that he had been reviewing the case, and "'knew from the beginning that it was fishy,'" but upon reviewing it, "he felt a great injustice had been done."

In May 2014, D'Souza, 57, admitted he illegally had reimbursed two "straw donors" who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the early 1980s. He also personally gave $10,000 to the campaign, when the legal limit at the time was $5,000.

Then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused D'Souza following his sentencing of "willfully undermining the integrity of the campaign finance process." The conservative author has written several books on politics and religion and the films "2016: Obama's America" and "Hillary's America."

He said he feels emotionally, he's even stronger than he was before, and he learned a lot, so in that sense, he does not regret his experience.

"But I do feel that as an immigrant, just the simple haunting sound of United States of America vs. Dinesh D'Souza, an army of FBI agents going after you, and now a congressional committee has a copy of my FBI file, a file that the FBI had been refusing to release to Congress for a long time, and now we kind of know why."

In that file, he said he is "red-flagged" as a conservative critic of the Obama administration.

"Now why is that in my file?" he said. "It's in my file because the FBI is signaling to the [Eric] Holder Justice Department, 'hey, here's a guy you might want to go after.' Here's a guy who is one of your political enemies and so this is the kind of way the signaling works. The signaling is within the government targeting me for selective prosecution."

D'Souza said it was the Obama movie that angered the then-president, and that the matter of justice is also a matter if a penalty is proportionate to the crime involved.

"I have become very familiar with these campaign finance cases over the past several years," he said. "No American in our country's history has ever been indicted, let alone prosecuted, let alone locked up for doing what I did. There is just not a single case. So what happened here is Obama and his team, Eric Holder, decided to make an example over here."

He said he knew Obama was angry about the movie, as he "was raging about it" on his website.

"This was a vindictive political hit that was kind of aimed at putting me out of business, essentially making, destroying my credibility, making it impossible for me to make movies, write books," said D'Souza.

"That has failed but it still left a cloud over me. I would be a lifelong felon. I would never be able to vote and never have my full rights. So I'm very grateful to President Trump for giving me those rights back."

According to reports, D'Souza "voluntarily" pleaded guilty, but on Friday, he said that he was pushed into that.

"The government says to you we are going to charge you with violating the campaign finance law," he said. "'Are you going to plead guilty or not guilty?' You say I'm thinking of pleading not guilty. Then the government says well, all right. We're now going to put a second charge on top of that.

"This is called filing a false document. You say well did I do something else wrong? They go, 'no, no. It's the same thing we are just describing it in a different way and pending a second charge but this one carries five years in federal prison.'"

Essentially, he added, the government threatens to destroy one's life.

"'Now if you plead guilty to the first charge, we'll drop the second one,'" he said. "The point I want to make here is that this kind of legal bludgeoning tactic is used not only against the guilty but also against the innocent.

"It's a way of, in a sense, forcing you to submit and then, of course, they put on a very solemn robe and said well he voluntarily pleaded. The voluntary issue here is highly dubious."

D'Souza said he was put in a halfway house in San Diego for eight months, "sleeping overnight in the dormitory with actually 120 hardened felons. It's not my normal crowd. It was an eye-opening experience. I came out of it fine."

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Filmmaker and author Dinesh D'Souza said Friday he didn't know his presidential pardon was coming until President Donald Trump called him personally.
dinesh dsouza, trump, pardon, obama, red-flagged
Friday, 01 June 2018 07:54 AM
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