Christian Pundit Dinesh D'Souza Pleads Guilty
In federal district court in New York this morning, Christian political commentator Dinesh D'Souza entered a guilty plea to one count of violating campaign finance law.
His case was scheduled to go to trial today in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. But this morning, he pleaded guilty, suspending the trial. His sentencing will occur at a later date. A second count against him of making false statements could be dismissed after sentencing.
Earlier, D'Souza through his attorney alleged that the government was engaging in "selective prosecution" of him due to his "consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism" of President Obama. But a judge dismissed this allegation last week.
Back in January, federal prosecutors charged D'Souza with making campaign contributions to a New York Republican senatorial campaign through the use of "straw donors." It is illegal to give money to a private individual with the intention of getting around federal campaign contribution limits. He was additionally charged with making false statements about these contributions. Individuals are limited to contributing $5,000 to a particular candidate per election cycle.
D'Souza, a conservative author, filmmaker, and former president of The King's College in New York, has a strong following among religious conservatives. In 2010, he wrote The Roots of Obama's Rage, which explored President Obama's family and the political views of his late father. In 2012, a film version of the book was released. Called 2016: Obama's America, this film drew a huge audience for a political documentary.
Earlier, his 2007 book, What's So Great about Christianity? endeared him to conservative Christians, both Catholic and evangelical. He served as a columnist for Christianity Today for about one year in 2009.
In 2010, King's College in New York City named D'Souza as its president. But his tenure was short-lived. Questions surfaced in the media about D'Souza's troubled marriage. He was in the process of divorce, but had become engaged to someone else, who was also reportedly married at the time. The controversy and scandal resulted in D'Souza resigning from the college presidency.
D'Souza will be releasing a new book and film in coming weeks.