Dinesh D’Souza recently threw himself on the mercy of the court in the case in which he pleaded guilty to election law violations, telling the judge in a letter how terrible ashamed he is of what he did. Prosecutors have filed a response to that plea, pointing out that D’Souza has been saying very different things to the public than he is to the judge.
In his letter to the judge, D’Souza said, “I cannot believe how stupid I was, how careless, and how irresponsible…I took a short-cut, knowing that there was a campaign limit and trying to get around the limit. This should not have happened, and I am ashamed and contrite that it did.” But that stands in stark contrast to what he said when he was indicted, which was that he’s being selectively prosecuted and that he shouldn’t be held accountable because he had no criminal intent.
“Normally, when you charge somebody with a serious crime, in this case two counts of a felony with a maximum of seven years in prison, there has to be malevolent intent, you have to be trying to do something bad,” D’Souza explained.
“In this particular case, they are saying I transcended the campaign limit by $20,000, but even they admit that the motive of doing this is to help a long-time friend, a college classmate of mine, Wendy Long, who is running an uphill campaign for the Senate in New York. But they’re not alleging that I did this with a view to getting an appointment, or quid-pro-quo. I’m not a professional bundler in any way. This was, even if what they say was true, not normally the kind of thing for which you engage in this type of heavy-handed prosecution. It is unusual.”
In fact, he kept up the claim of selective prosecution even after he pleaded guilty and even after the judge ruled against him in trying to make that argument, saying that he had no evidence for it. Here he is in an interview with Steve Malzberg after he pleaded guilty:
Well, uh, from the beginning of this case when the um, uh, the prosecution and I appeared in court, I said that I did exceed the limits of the campaign finance laws. So not from the beginning did I maintain, uh, that I did not exceed them. The case revolved really on 2 points. Uh, one is the issue of selective prosecution. In other words, is it the case that I was being selectively or excessively prosecuted for something that normally doesn’t get this kind of treatment. Remember Steve that this is a case involving no corruption whatsoever. Uh, I gave $20,000 dollars to a longtime college friend who was running for the Senate, and I wasn’t trying to get anything out of it. I just saw that her campaign was flailing. She was flailing, I was trying to help her, and I did it in the wrong way. So I admitted that I did that from the very beginning. The second issue was my intent: did I intend to commit a crime? Did I intend to break the law? What really changed in the case is that the Judge ruled that the selective prosecution issue could not be, could not be introduced in court. Uh, and second, he defined intent in a quite narrow way that made it almost impossible for me to launch a defense based on that. So, those were the things that changed. It wasn’t that I had one story at the beginning, another story at the end.
The issues in this case have been the same from the very beginning.
He said virtually identical things on Fox News the day he pleaded guilty. So to the judge, he’s incredibly sorry and ashamed of what he did and admits that he knew that what he was doing was criminal. But in the right wing media, he’s being selectively prosecuted and he never had any criminal intent. And it’s not a big deal anyway. See, that pretty much negates all that talk of contrition and shame. And the judge isn’t likely to let him get away with this.