Author, filmmaker, and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza was indicted this week by a federal grand jury for alleged violations of US campaign finance laws.
Are those who find this development rather odd just being paranoid?
The pundit is charged with allegedly funneling $20,000 to the failed US Senate campaign of his friend Wendy Long in violation of federal law. He has entered a not-guilty plea.
D’Souza’s lawyer, high-powered New York City criminal defense attorney Benjamin Brafman, said that “Mr. D’Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever. He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at most, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”
As The Inquisitr has previously reported, some conservatives theorize that Dinesh D’Souza became a target of President Obama and his supporters following the release of his successful documentary 2016: Obama’s America, a film that was label as “anti-Obama.” Although it took a while to catch on with audiences, the documentary went on to make $33 million at the box office and is said to be the second-most-popular political documentary in US history. His new film, simply called America, has a July 4 release date.
Given all the serious and often violent crimes that law enforcement authorities have to investigate with their limited resources, going after D’Souza does seem strange. For one thing, $20,000 is chump change in a federal election particularly one where the candidate in question had no chance of winning. A more reasonable approach would to have D’Souza agree to a stipulation of some kind and pay a fine if the evidence warranted it. Moreover, the $500,000 bail that D’Souza was hit with is far more than that required of some violent suspects, according to The Blaze.
The D’Souza indictment contrasts sharply with the FBI’s seemingly superficial or sham investigation of the IRS unconstitutional harassment of Tea Party groups. Indications are that the FBI won’t be pressing criminal charges against any IRS officials – even though one invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a Congressional hearing — and instead reportedly are blaming the scandal on incompetent bureaucrats.
Gerald Molen, D’Souza’s co-producer on 2016: Obama’s America, told The Hollywood Reporter that the indictment for what he called an alleged minor violation was a form of political retribution. “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 … 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.”
Other individuals, such as Dr. Ben Carson, have come forward to say they suddenly attracted the attention of IRS auditors after publicly expressing political views that run counter to the administration.
The launch of an immediate federal investigation into the Chris Christie bridgegate, when there were already other state probes underway, could fall into this same category in that Christie is considered a strong contender in 2016 for the GOP presidential nomination.
In perhaps a related (or not) development to selective enforcement, controversial muckraker James O’Keefe is now claiming that he is being targeted by New York state officials doing the bidding of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, specifically that “the Department of Labor has hit his office in Westchester County, N.Y., with demands for financial documents for months. He compared it to IRS targeting of conservative groups nationwide.”
The IRS is also reportedly giving an under-the-radar group called Friends of Abe a hard time in connection with obtaining approval for tax-exempt status, which has been pending for two years The IRS has been seeking intrusive information – including access to its private website — about the group, which tries to maintain a low profile in liberal Hollywood so that its members can continue to get work in the industry. “A collection of perhaps 1,500 right-leaning players in the entertainment industry, Friends of Abe keeps a low profile and fiercely protects its membership list, to avoid what it presumes would result in a sort of 21st-century blacklist, albeit on the other side of the partisan spectrum.”
With regard to the Friends of Abe matter, Commentary Magazine insisted that “the real issue here is why the IRS has been stalling a tiny conservative group because of questions about the speakers they invite to their off-the-record dinners and meetings while a bevy of left-wing Hollywood groups whose involvement in political issues is a matter of record have not encountered such IRS challenges.”
For what it’s worth, it has been reported that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner allegedly warned an executive with Standard & Poors parent company in 2011 that the firm would be “looked at very carefully” and there would be a “response from the government” after it downgraded the US credit rating. The US Justice Department filed a lawsuit in 2013 against S&P for fraud in connection with the 2008 financial meltdown.
Do you think a pattern exists of unleashing federal or state agencies to harass and intimidate those individuals and groups who have spoken out in opposition to the Obama administration agenda?
[image credit: Mark Taylor]