Conservative hero and anti-Obama filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza pleaded guilty today to violating a federal campaign finance law, a charge that he denied for months.
D'Souza was charged in January with contributing $20,000 in the names of other people to Republican candidate Wendy Long who was running (and lost) against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in 2012.
“I knew that making a campaign contribution in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids,” D’Souza told the judge, noted The New York Times. “I deeply regret my conduct.”
D'Souza was also charged with one count of a false statement, which will be dismissed when he is sentenced on Sept. 23. The former president of Kings College is expected to be sentenced to jail for ten to 16 months.
D'Souza claimed repeatedly this year that he was being charged because he made a film about President Obama entitled "2016: Obama's America," which was filled with outlandish claims.
"I am a public critic of the president, and I do recognize this has made me, to some degree, vulnerable to some forms of counter-attack," D'Souza told Megyn Kelly on Fox News in Feb. (video below).
The New York Times reported in April that prosecutors obtained an audio recording of Denise Joseph, D'Souza's then-girlfriend, explaining his alleged strategy:
Ms. Joseph was recorded as saying that Mr. D’Souza had told her that if he were charged he might plead guilty, but would initially plead not guilty because that “gives him a window of opportunity to get his story out there,” the government said. Ms. Joseph had no comment, her lawyer said.
Joseph was recorded by her estranged husband who gave the audio tape to law enforcement.
According to MediaMatters.org, D'Souza's defenders included Fox News host Sean Hannity, Matt Drudge, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh, all of whom claimed that D'Souza was a victim of the Obama administration.
Another defender was conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, who is a former girlfriend of D'Souza.
Ingraham appeared to be in complete denial today after reporting that D'Souza pleaded guilty. She still insisted that he was was prosecuted for his political beliefs, noted MediaMatters.org (audio below).