Dinesh D’Souza is “exploiting” his history of criticizing President Obama in a “baseless attempt to avoid criminal prosecution,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.
The office of Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, urged the court to deny the conservative author’s efforts to get his case dismissed, and said D’Souza’s lawyer’s suggestion that his client was being selectively targeted was “without merit.”
“[W]hat defendant seeks through his motion is de facto immunity for making fraudulent election contributions that the defendant all but concedes violate federal criminal law,” prosecutors said. “The Court should not entertain such an attempt.”
D’Souza was indicted in January for allegedly using two straw donors to funnel $20,000 to the Senate campaign of Republican Wendy Long, who challenged Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand (D-NY) in 2012.
In their filing on Thursday, prosecutors said evidence will show that D’Souza directed two people — Tyler Vawser, who worked for D’Souza, and Denise Joseph, a woman who was having an extramarital affair with D’Souza — to make contributions to Long’s campaign on behalf of themselves and their spouses. Prosecutors said they expect Vawser to testify that D’Souza promised to reimburse him for the donation, and told Vawser that if anyone asked, he should say that he knew Long and supported her candidacy. Prosecutors also said they expect Long to testify, and that she will say she asked D’Souza several times about the contributions. D’Souza allegedly told her not to worry about the donations.
D’Souza faces one count of making contributions of more than $10,000 in the names of others and one count of causing false statements. He has since maintained his innocence.
(h/t New York Times)