President Donald Trump announced on Thursday morning he plans to give conservative commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza a “full pardon.”
"Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government," Trump tweeted.
D’Souza, the filmmaker behind conservative documentaries like “2016: Obama’s America,” pleaded guilty violating campaign finance law after he reimbursed two associates who gave a combined $20,000 to Republican candidate Wendy Long in the New York Senate race against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
D’Souza received a sentence of five years probation, eight months in a “community confinement center,” and fined $30,000.
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The conservative personality was prosecuted by then-U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, who was later fired by President Trump.
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said on Fox News Thursday that the president believes it's "appropriate" to pardon D'Souza after fulfilling the judge's requirements because he has "accepted responsibility."
"Dinesh D'Souza is an individual who, you know, has made restitution and accepted responsibility for his actions, but these are infractions and crimes that are rarely prosecuted, and many believe that he was the subject of some selective prosecution from the previous administration," Shah added.
Trump’s decision to pardon D’Souza was met with harsh criticism from his opponents, and praise by some conservatives.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued D’Souza was a victim of “political prosecution.”
"Dinesh was the subject of a political prosecution, brazenly targeted by the Obama administration bc of his political views," Cruz tweeted. "And he’s a powerful voice for freedom, systematically dismantling the lies of the Left—which is why they hate him. This is Justice."