What justice? US attorneys go after conservative author
Federal prosecutors are seeking a 10- to 16-month prison sentence for conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who has pled guilty to violating campaign finance law. [icopyright one button toolbar]
D’Souza, 53, admitted in May to illegally reimbursing 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.
The Mumbai native became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991. The maximum penalty is 24 months in prison.
The government’s preferred sentence seemed excessive relative to my memory of other campaign finance indiscretions. Google helped me confirm that suspicion.
Not only does the DOJ seem more hard-nosed than usual, it’s moving more rapidly than usual as well.
2014. $653,000. Cooperating with prosecutors; not sentenced.
Jeffrey Thompson, 58, Washington, DC, pled guilty to conspiracy involving a $653,000 “shadow campaign” for DC mayor Vincent Gray in 2010.
2014. $180,000. Probably less than 5 years in prison.
Sant Singh Chatwal, 70, New York, pled guilty to funneling $188,000 in illegal donations to three candidates; he has been a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. His maximum sentence is 25 years but he has “agreed not to appeal any prison sentence shorter than 5-1/4 years.” Sentencing has been postponed to October. The illegal contributions occurred from 2007-2011.
2014. $140,000. 60 days in jail.
Jeff Smith, 40, Washington, DC, was sentenced to 60 days in jail (jail, not prison) for accepting, as a candidate, $140,000 in illicit campaign contributions from one man: Jeff Thompson. Time period: 2009-2010.
2014. $35,000. Maximum 1 year in prison. Not sentenced; cooperating with the prosecution.
Lisa Wilson-Foley, while a Congressional candidate for Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District, laundered payments to a political consultant so that he would not show up as working with the campaign in any public disclosure documents.
Her husband illegally funneled $500,000 into her campaign. Time period: 2011-2012.
2013. $133,400. Two years in prison.
Harvey Whittemore, 62, Nevada, funneled $133,400 in illegal contributions to the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007. He was convicted (jury trial) and sentenced to two years in prison last September; he started serving his sentence last month.
2012. More than $210,000. Two years in prison.
Christopher Tigani, 40, Delaware, pled guilty to various campaign finance law violations; maximum sentence would have been 16 years in prison. Tigani violated state and federal law; Joe Biden was a recipient of his largess. Time period: October 2003 through December 2008.
2012. $15,000. 50 hours community service.
Michael A. Zimmerman, 56, Delaware, made the contributions to then-candidate Gov. Jack A. Markell’s campaign in 2008. He made donations in fictitious names.
Certainly seems like the U.S. government is involved in a little payback in the D’Souza case; D’Souza has been a vocal critic of President Obama.