No jail time for Dinesh D'Souza
Obama critic and film maker Dinesh D'Sousa was spared jail time by the judge in his campaign finance case, after he was sentenced to 8 months in a community confinement center and 5 years probation.
The prosecutor in the case requested that D'Souza serve 10 months in jail.
D'Souza, 53, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan to live in a center, which would allow him to leave during non-residential hours for employment, for the first eight months of a five-year probationary period.
Berman also ordered D'Souza to perform one day of community service a week during probation, undergo weekly therapy and pay a $30,000 fine.
D'Souza, a frequent critic of U.S. President Barack Obama, admitted in May to illegally reimbursing two "straw donors" who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the early 1980s.
"It was a crazy idea, it was a bad idea," D'Souza told Berman before being sentenced. "I regret breaking the law."
Prosecutors had sought a 10-to 16-month prison sentence, rejecting defense arguments that D'Souza was "ashamed and contrite" about his crime and deserved probation with community service.
They cited statements D'Souza made in media interviews after his guilty plea, where he discussed being "selectively" targeted for prosecution.
Berman appeared to accept the prosecutors' position, playing a video in which D'Souza talked about selective prosecution - an effort at "spin," the judge said.
"I'm not sure, Mr. D'Souza, that you get it," Berman said before announcing the sentence. "And it is still hard for me to discern any personal acceptance of responsibility in this case."
The case has prompted criticism among some conservatives who accused the government of selectively prosecuting D'Souza because of his political views. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office brought the case, is an Obama appointee.
Despite comments early in the hearing, Berman ultimately decided against prison, instead ordering community confinement. Benjamin Brafman, D'Souza's lawyer, had argued no defendant in a case like D'Souza's had previously been sent to prison.
"I'm just relieved and want to thank the judge for imposing a fair sentence," D'Souza said after Tuesday's hearing.
I wouldn't call this a "selective" prosecution as much I would refer to it as a "targeted" prosecution. The higher your profile in politics, the more scrutiny you come under. D'Souza didn't try to hide his scheme, which made it easy for the FBI to discover it.
Who sicced the FBI on D'Souza? Judicial Watch is suing the government for all communications related to the case. I would think that any incriminating records have already been shredded so we'll probably never know for sure.