NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) — A conservative scholar and author known recently for his critical works on President Barack Obama has been indicted in New York on charges he violated campaign finance laws.
Federal prosecutors announced the charges Thursday against Dinesh D’Souza, who made the anti-Obama documentary “2016: Obama’s America.” They say he’ll be arraigned Friday on charges he directed $20,000 in illegal contributions to be made in the New York Senate race in 2012. The funds allegedly headed to the Wendy Long campaign, who unsuccessfully ran for Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate seat.
D’Souza found out he was being investigated by the feds in the mid-2013, months after his anti-Obama documentary earned roughly $33 million at the box office, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film went on to become the second most popular political documentary in U.S. history.
Prosecutors say the San Diego resident was charged with causing the illegal campaign contributions to be made and causing false statements to be made in connection with them. They say the criminal case resulted from a routine review by the FBI of campaign filings by various candidates after the Senate race.
A defense attorney says D’Souza didn’t act with any corrupt or criminal intent.
But Gerald Molen, a co-producer of “2016,” told THR that the charges are politically motivated.
Just days before the indictment, Molen penned an op-ed on TheBlaze titled, “In Michael Moore’s America, Speaking Out Against the President Gets You a Visit From the Secret Service.”
In it, he argued that in the world of people like Michael Moore, “dissent is only allowed for those who share his ideology.” He bashed Moore for calling on the Secret Service to visit D’Souza for calling President Barack Obama as the “Trayvon Martin in the White House.”
The producer is now arguing that it’s obvious that D’Souza is being singled-out over an “an alleged minor violation.” He also connected what he believes to be political targeting in this case to the targeting done by the IRS.
“In America, we have a long tradition of not doing what is commonly done in too many other countries — criminalizing dissent through the selective enforcement of the law,” Molen told the Hollywood Reporter.
“In light of the recent events and the way the IRS has been used to stifle dissent, this arrest should send shivers down the spines of all freedom-loving Americans,” he later added.
Read the entire indictment via Politicker: