'Humiliated' Dinesh D'Souza seeks probation after guilty plea
The conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D`Souza has asked a federal judge to sentence him to probation and community service after pleading guilty to a campaign finance law violation.
New York: The conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D`Souza has asked a federal judge to sentence him to probation and community service after pleading guilty to a campaign finance law violation.
In a Wednesday court filing, D`Souza`s lawyers said their client will present himself as a "disgraced and humiliated man" who acted out of character by having two "straw donors" donate $10,000 each to his friend Wendy Long`s unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York, and then reimbursing them.
The sentencing recommendation includes an unusual statement from D`Souza, 53, to U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, who will impose sentence at a Sept. 23 hearing.
D`Souza said the means he chose to help Long, a Republican he had known since both attended Dartmouth College, was "completely aberrant," and has led to his credibility as a public figure to be called into question. He added there was "zero chance" he would commit the crime again.
"I cannot believe how stupid I was, how careless, and how irresponsible," D`Souza wrote.
"I took a short-cut, knowing that there was a campaign limit and trying to get around the limit," he continued. "This should not have happened, and I am ashamed and contrite that it did."
The Mumbai-born D`Souza, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991, proposed community service that could involve teaching, instructing new immigrants in English, or working at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego.
D`Souza faces up to two years in prison. Federal prosecutors have until Sept. 8 to make their sentencing recommendation.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan declined to comment.
The case against D`Souza, a critic of President Barack Obama, prompted some conservatives to accuse the government of selectively prosecuting him. Bharara is an Obama appointee.
D`Souza wrote the 2010 bestseller "The Roots of Obama`s Rage" and co-directed "2016: Obama`s America," a 2012 film that expressed concern about the country`s future if Obama were reelected.
More recently, D`Souza published "America: Imagine a World Without Her" in June and soon after released a companion movie.
The book was No. 1 on the New York Times` hardcover nonfiction best seller list for the week ended Aug. 31. It is No. 3 for the week ending Sept. 7.
The case is U.S. v. D`Souza, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-cr-00034.