Conservative commentator and Obama critic Dinesh D’Souza pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating a campaign finance law limitation on personal donations.
On the brink of jury selection for his trial for using straw man donors to contribute $20,000 to the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Long island Republican Wendy Long, D’Souza entered a plea of guilty to a single campaign finance count before Judge Richard Berman.
The plea comes just days after Berman rejected the motion of defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman of Brafman & Associates for discovery to pursue a defense of selective prosecution against the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s office (NYLJ, May 16).
D’Souza claimed his indictment was payback from the Obama administration for his criticism of the president, including his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”
“Given the technical nature of the charge, there was no viable defense,” Brafman said in a statement released after the guilty plea.
D’Souza faces a stipulated U.S. sentencing guidelines range of 10 to 16 months when he is sentenced on Sept. 23.
“We are hopeful that Judge Berman will recognize Mr. D’Souza to be a fundamentally honorable man who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive and responsible life,” Brafman said in the statement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie Cohen and Paul Krieger are handling the prosecution.