Trump says he will pardon Dinesh D'Souza, conservative supporter - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trump says he will pardon Dinesh D'Souza, conservative supporter of his policies

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WASHINGTON — President Trump said Thursday he would pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, convicted in 2014 of making illegal campaign contributions.

"Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D'Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!" Trump tweeted Thursday as he headed to Texas. 

D'Souza is serving five years probation for making illegal campaign contributions in the names of others to support the candidacy of Republican New York Senate candidate Wendy Long, who lost to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Those straw donations allowed him to give $20,000 in illegal contributions to the campaign, exceeding the $5,000 legal limit.

D'Souza pleaded guilty to the charge. And though he argued that he was being selectively prosecuted because of his attacks on President Barack Obama, he later backed off the claim at his sentencing.

" I'm sorry for what I did. I have never said otherwise," he said. "I have never even said I am being selectively prosecuted. I feared that I was being."

The pardon would mark the fifth full pardon granted by Trump during his presidency — all without going through the formal channels of the Justice Department. And it continues a pattern of politically motivated pardons that include former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Bush White House aide Scooter Libby

More: After pardoning political allies, Trump quietly denies clemency for 180 others

Trump also pardoned Kristian Saucier, a former Navy submariner whose conviction for mishandling classified information because a conservative cause because of its comparisons to Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. 

And just last week, Trump gave a rare posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the former heavyweight boxing champion convicted in 1913 of racially motivated charges related to his relationship with a white woman.

More: 'It's about time:' The 97-year history of Jack Johnson's quest for a pardon

D'Souza, 57, is an Indian-born author and documentary filmmaker whose work has assailed President Barack Obama, Islam and multiculturalism. His most recent book is The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left

Though he was spared prison time in the campaign finance case, his conviction has put him under court supervision. He's requited to undergo weekly counseling sessions and complete an eight-hour day of community service during every week of his five-year probation. That community service: Teaching English to immigrants.

He also had to receive permission from a judge to leave the country in January for a research project to Nuremberg, Germany — where Nazis were put on trial for war crimes after World War II.

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