There are people who get convicted of campaign finance violations who you can make a decent case got a raw deal, even if you think campaign finance law is an important democratic safeguard. Here at TPM, we covered a case like that closely: the prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, a Democrat who was targeted by Karl Rove and some powerful state Republicans.
Dinesh D’Souza, who President Trump pardoned today, saying he was “treated very unfairly,” definitely doesn’t fall into that category. As Tierney Sneed explains, D’Souza knowingly had his mistress and his assistant make $10,000 contributions to a GOP candidate, with the understanding that he’d pay them back – a clear scheme to get around individual contribution limits. The mistress even told her husband, in a conversation he recorded, that D’Souza had told her that if caught, he planned to eventually plead guilty, though not before first trying to “get his story out there.” That “story,” it seemed, was that he had been targeted by the Justice Department because of his (unhinged and racist) attacks on President Obama – a claim the judge in the case called “nonsense.”