In less than one week, President Trump pardoned conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and weighed a pardon for Martha Stewart and a commutation for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat.
While critics warned Trump may be trying to set precedents in case he needs to issue pardons for former members of his administration (like former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversation with Russia’s ambassador), according to D’Souza, the fact that Trump considered pardoning a Democrat proves this wasn’t an ideological move.
“The very fact that Trump is considering pardons for people like Blagojevich tells me that this is not ideological, it’s not Trump pardoning his own team,” he said during an interview on Tuesday with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.
D’Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 in federal court to using straw donors to make $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Republican New York Senate candidate Wendy Long in 2012. D’Souza maintains that his conviction stemmed from an anti-Obama film he released in which he interviewed the former president’s half-brother, who lived in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
“All of this didn’t sit very well with Obama,” D’Souza said. “I think in retaliation, he unleashed his dogs to go after me.”