Skip to comments.Media Not Very Curious about DíSouza Indictment: This thing stinks to high heaven
Posted on 01/26/2014 6:48:03 PM PST by SeekAndFind
The indictment of a major critic of the president has elicited little more than yawns from the media.
This is a case where you don’t even have to connect the dots. Just read a little history:
After news broke Thursday that federal prosecutors had charged conservative commentator, author, film-maker and professional Obama-basher Dinesh D’Souza with violating campaign finance laws, Walter Olson at the Overlawyered blog posted on the relatively mild civil sanction meted out to a “big-league trial lawyer” who’d done pretty much the same thing D’Souza is accused of. D’Souza has been indicted for allegedly paying $20,000 to reimburse straw donors to the campaign of Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long, who lost a 2012 contest against incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. Arkansas trial lawyer Tab Turner, as Overlawyered recounted in 2006, reimbursed donors of $8,000 to John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign and just had to cough up a $9,500 civil fine. By highlighting the contrast in his post Thursday, Olson seemed to be suggesting that D’Souza has been selectively targeted for prosecution because he’s so critical of the Obama administration.
Former acting U.S. attorney general George Terwilliger of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius raised the same suggestion in an interview Friday. Terwilliger, who served in the administration of two Republican presidents and later defended noted Los Angeles lawyer Pierce O’Donnell against campaign finance charges similar to those leveled against D’Souza, told me there are “legitimate questions that could be asked about the political motivation for bringing the case.” Want more conspiracy theorism? Dominic Gentile of Gordon Silver, who represented Nevada campaign finance defendant Harvey Whittemore, conducted exhaustive research on so-called conduit payments of the sort D’Souza is accused of making. In Whittemore’s sentencing memo, he documented civil and criminal penalties in “straw donor” cases. “Twenty thousand dollars?” Gentile told me. “I’ve never heard of a $20,000 criminal case” for campaign finance violations.” And at D’Souza’s arraignment Friday in Manhattan federal court, his own lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman that whatever D’Souza did, his conduct wasn’t criminal.
This thing stinks to high heaven of political motivation.
First, there is this very curious note in the DoJ press release on how D’Souza’s crime was discovered:
The Indictment is the result of a routine review by the FBI of campaign filings with the FEC by various candidates after the 2012 election for United States Senator in New York. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI.
How is it possible that a measly $20,000 in donations could leap out at investigators during a “routine review”? Most people charged with this crime front hundreds of thousands of dollars — and end up with far lesser charges. And are we to believe this “routine review” only snared Mr. D’Souza? If $20,000 in contributions leapt out at the FBI, are we to believe that D’Souza is the only contributor guilty of setting up straw donations? Where are the other lawbreakers?
And why refer to D’Souza as a “former college president” rather than what he’s vastly more famous for — a conservative writer and filmmaker — if not to attempt to obscure the political nature of the prosecution?
The press release goes out of its way to mention D’Souza could go to jail for his crimes:
D’SOUZA, 52, of San Diego, California, is charged with one count of causing $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions to be made to a candidate for the United States Senate in calendar year 2012, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. He also is charged with one count of causing false statements to be made to the FEC in connection with the illegal campaign contributions, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
But as the Reuters blog points out, prosecuting and sending someone to jail for funneling $20 grand illegally to a campaign is unheard of.
Armed with this kind of information, you would think one — or maybe two — beat reporters at Justice would bestir themselves to at least ask Holder’s hack press secretary some questions along the lines of those raised above. Perhaps a talk with the FBI might be in order as well.
In both instances, they will get the usual runaround (“we don’t comment on open criminal cases”). But this case is apparently so unusual that you would think someone inside DoJ might be willing to fill in some blanks.
There’s nothing new about politically motivated prosecutions. But this particular prosecution seems so petty, so petulant, that only someone schooled in Chicago Way politics would approve it.
Does that bring anyone to mind? Bueller? Bueller?
There is no such thing as media in this country.
What there are is whores.
The Media is the Country’s greatest threat.
might as well indict him for failing to license his dog
Of course it stinks, it is from the “High Leader”.
It is nothing close to high heaven. The pits of hell are it’s origin!
I hope he has a planned youtube dump or a wikileaks publication in case this drags out. It needs to hit the web no matter what!
Trying to send a message to conservative donors before 2014 election season?
The “White House Ties” graphic needs to be updated. Nides is no longer in State; he left for Morgan Stanley in Feb 2013 (not that that’s much better, given the ties between the administration and the big finance houses).
People should learn from this example. Don't ever assume that you can count on friends or associates to help you conceal the facts if there exists any possibility that they might face criminal liability. Your best friends will likely rat you out to save themselves from prosecution.
It's just human nature. Omertà is a myth.
I don't see how this would catch him doing what he is accused of. His name would not appear on the campaign filings. However, he could easily get caught by the NSA, who keeps track of all payments through banks. Starting with the checks to conservative candidates, then looking back for anyone who paid those people, and finding one person who paid several, is trivial for what the NSA has built.
The media is the enemy of America.
This case would be a perfect vehicle to give Roberts and Alito an opportunity to reverse McConnell v. FEC, thereby overturning McCain-Feingold and perhaps all of campaign finance reform. Which is nothing other than a blatant violation of the First Amendment.
.... I do find it very curious that .... A fox has entered the hen house destroying the hens ....... the media circles its collective wagons to protect the fox ....... instead of fighting off that fox and protecting the hens.
Pamela Geller (the Atlas Shrugs lady) has for sometime now (rightly) referred to the MSM as the “enemedia.”
Nothing to see here. Everyone move along!
prosecuting and sending someone to jail for funneling $20 grand illegally to a campaign is unheard of.
Makes one wonder just how much money the fox is paying the media.