The Slatest

Trump Will Pardon Right-Wing Intellectual/Clown Dinesh D’Souza for Campaign Finance Fraud Conviction

D'Souza speaks into a microphone.
Dinesh D’Souza at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on May 31, 2014.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dinesh D’Souza is a right-wing writer and speaker who began his career as an ostensibly respectable intellectual but has since become the familiar kind of relentless alt-right goon-troll who suggests, for example, that the Charlottesville white supremacist rally was staged by liberals and that Barack Obama is a “gay Muslim.” (You can click here to read an interesting piece, pegged to a D’Souza book about how the modern Democratic Party owes its intellectual foundations to Nazism, about how he is able to market transparently ludicrous ideas persuasively.) In 2014 he pleaded guilty to circumventing campaign finance laws by funneling donations to an (unsuccessful) New York Senate candidate through straw donors. And now he’s getting pardoned by the president!

Pardoning right-wing figures who were convicted for treating white-collar federal laws (and federal authorities) with contempt has officially now become one of Trump’s “things,” as D’Souza joins a list of pardonees that includes reactionary Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio (convicted of willfully ignoring a court order) and Bush administration official Scooter Libby (convicted of lying to the FBI). As others have pointed out, this sends a clear signal to the many Trump associates who are or may soon be on the hook for crimes such as money laundering and lying to investigators and taking bribes; it also makes liberals mad, which is one of Trump’s primary policy goals. Everyone wins (except the concept of public integrity)!