President Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Thursday that he will fully pardon the "openly racist" right-wing propagandist Dinesh D'Souza, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 2014 and has—in just the past year—mocked school shooting survivors, circulated anti-semitic lies, and suggested that the white supremacist Charlottesville rally was "staged."
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
If there was any lingering doubt left that Trump’s pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington was nothing more than campaign rhetoric, today’s pardon of Dinesh D’Souza, a confessed campaign money launderer, should bring those doubts to a close. https://t.co/j1KxE79XiE
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 31, 2018
Preet Bharara, who prosecuted D'Souza as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was quick to respond to Trump's tweet on Thursday, noting that D'Souza "intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct, and the judge found no unfairness. Period."
"Dinesh D'Souza is a racist piece of shit, and it's worth keeping in mind that he was pardoned because of that, not in spite of it."
—Tim Murphy, Mother Jones
As Simon Malloy of Media Matters pointed out, D'Souza himself admitted that was not "treated unfairly" by the court after he copped to knowingly violating campaign finance law by using his assistant and mistress as "straw donors."
In a statement on Thursday, Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn argued that Trump's decision to pardon D'Souza demonstrates once again the president's "contempt for the rule of law."
"Trump's action sends yet another dangerous signal that he will abuse his power to protect those who would subvert the rule of law, including the laws that protect the integrity of our democracy from corruption," Flynn said.
Echoing Flynn in a series of tweets, Public Citizen argued that "Trump is sending a blazing signal to his associates that they will be rewarded if they stay loyal."
Other commentators weighed in on Trump's most recent pardon amid reports that he's also gearing up to pardon Martha Stewart and commute the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:
Not that it affects the legal case, but Dinesh D’Souza’s twitter feed looks like Roseanne’s x 1,000 and is what he’s been known for in recent years. There’s a separate message getting sent there too with this pardon. https://t.co/aDKjkqYiXT
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) May 31, 2018
Never forget that Dinesh D’Souza unapologetically tweeted this right after the murder of Trayvon Martin. pic.twitter.com/Df1cB55aFH
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 31, 2018
Dinesh D'Souza is a racist piece of shit, and it's worth keeping in mind that he was pardoned because of that, not in spite of it
— Tim Murphy Premium for subscribers only (@timothypmurphy) May 31, 2018
Trump pardons Dinesh D’Souza, another abhorrent, xenophobic racist.
Exhibit A: D’Souza’s horribly racist tweet about President Obama in 2015. pic.twitter.com/8QpQoFyofV
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) May 31, 2018