Wendy Long, who received illegal campaign contributions from Dinesh D’Souza during her 2012 run for a U.S. Senate seat in New York is enraged by the federal government’s prosecution of the conservative author and filmmaker.
D’Souza pleaded guilty Tuesday to a campaign finance violation for making contributions to Long above the legal limit by using straw donors. However, despite D’Souza’s plea, Long issued a statement insisting the case against him was “unconstitutional.”
“When our government criminalizes the very free speech that the First Amendment was written to protect, sends people to prison for simply exercising their constitutional rights, and wields its power like a weapon against political enemies, we are all in trouble,” Long said. “There is no corruption here, and this entire episode is a shameful government overreach and a violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
Prosecutors had accused D’Souza of making $US10,000 contributions to Long through straw donors whom he had offered to reimburse.
D’Souza is perhaps best known for his 2012 documentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” which was highly critical of the president. After he was charged with campaign finance fraud in January, D’Souza initially claimed the prosecution against him was part of a government witch hunt against critics of the Obama administration.
However, on Tuesday D’Souza reportedly admitted his guilt in court with a simple statement.
“I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids,” he said, according to The Wire.
Long, who is an attorney, further described herself as devastated by D’Souza’s legal woes.
“I am heartbroken about this. Dinesh has always been completely generous with everyone he meets. There was never a time when he wasn’t trying to do anything but help me personally, support my U.S. Senate campaign, and advance the ideals of freedom that we share,” she said.
D’Souza promoted Long’s statement multiple times on his Facebook page.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office would not comment on Long’s specific remarks and instead referred Business Insider to a statement Bharara released after D’Souza’s plea.
“As our Office’s record reflects, we will investigate and prosecute violations of federal law, particularly those that undermine the integrity of the democratic electoral process, without regard to the defendant’s political persuasion or party affiliation. That is what we did in this case and what we will continue to do,” Bharara said in that statement.
Despite D’Souza’s financial help, Long decisively lost her 2012 Senate race against incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand by over 40 points.
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