April 23, 2014

"D’Souza Case Is Political, Lawyer Says."

Headline at the NYT. Excerpt:
[The lawyer, Benjamin] has filed court papers contending that... there was “good reason for concern” that Mr. D’Souza, the author of the best-selling 2010 book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” was “selectively targeted for felony prosecution because of his outspoken, vigorous and politically controversial criticism and condemnation” of the president and his administration.

Mr. Brafman said that a review of similar campaign finance violation cases shows many were typically not referred for felony prosecution and where they were, it often took several years. “The speed with which the authorities responded to the conduct in this case is virtually unprecedented,” he wrote.

34 comments:

Beta Rube said...

Maybe he will contribute to the Obama library and Holder can work in a pardon.

mccullough said...

Can't this guy just pay a fine and be done with this? Putting aside political motivations for the prosecution, campaign finance prosecutions, especially of this small dollar amount, are a waste of resources. The Justice Department is too big if the New York office has time in its hands for these jay-walking cases.

Skeptical Voter said...

The D'Souza prosecution is political? No kidding--it is political. You can't dis Good King Barack and expect no fallout.

AJ Lynch said...

More evidence to me is that D'Souza's bail was set at $500,000for a rather small $10,000 campaign contribution violation.

And the feds used the same bail amount for the alleged gun runner Leeland Yee, the Democrat legislator in California.

What does this tell you?

mesquito said...

I dunno. I find it very hard to believe that the people who debauched and corrupted the IRS, the EPA, the National Park Service, the State Department, and the NLRB could possibly have debauched and corrupted the FEC and the Department of Justice.

American Liberal Elite said...

The Rule of Law:
1. If the facts are against you, argue the law.
2. If the law is against you, argue the facts.
3. If the facts and the law are against you, yell like hell.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, of course it was political but not in any sense that will help the defense. Unfortunately for D'Souza, last week Sang Singh Chatwal, a key Dem fundraiser (also of Indian descent), pled guilty in the EDNY to a similar charge of structuring political contributions (most especially to Hillary! and Schumer), in violation of campaign finance prohibitions. Chatwal used straw donors to contribute $180,000 to Dem candidates, and was taped explaining that it was the only way to get the politicos' attention. Truer words were never spoken.

The reality is that political contributions don't present a bribery scenario nearly as much as they do an extortion one. None of that is in play in the D'Souza case, of course, since he was trying to help an old friend (Wendy Long) running a hopeless campaign for US Senate. There was never any suggestion of bribery, extortion, corruption or indeed, any other possible reason, to prohibit D'Souza from helping her -- precisely because everyone knew she could not possibly win in NY. Rather than selective prosecution, the real problem with the case against D'Souza is that, as applied to him, the campaign finance laws violate his First Amendment rights because the Gov't has no conceivable interest (other than administrative concerns), let alone a compelling one, to prohibit him from helping her. Unfortunately, like the selective prosecution defense, that one would be a loser too if Brafman made it.

MadisonMan said...

I think the prosecution was probably expedited because of D'Souza's politics, yes.

But he did (allegedly) break the law, apparently. So there is that.

It's not like other politically-motivated prosecutions that had no facts to back them up. Still, the obvious appearance of prosecution because of one's views troubles me.

Bob Boyd said...

"If you want to know who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." – Voltaire

cubanbob said...

Perhaps next year if the republicans win both houses of congress they can appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the prosecutor in this case. One wonders of all the possible crimes this prosecutor's office has to investigate and prosecute what was the motivating factor to investigate and prosecute this case when there is evidence the accused had anything to gain and how many other campaign finance laws violations the prosecutor decided to ignore.

Sam L. said...

Sort of a given, and really obvious

gerry said...

With this man in the White House, our liberties are endangered.

DKWalser said...

Well, of course it was political but not in any sense that will help the defense. Unfortunately for D'Souza, last week Sang Singh Chatwal, a key Dem fundraiser (also of Indian descent), pled guilty in the EDNY to a similar charge of structuring political contributions (most especially to Hillary! and Schumer), in violation of campaign finance prohibitions....

If I understand D'Souza's defense correctly, the argument is that he cannot be criminally prosecuted because the criminal portion of the law has been enforced too arbitrarily and capriciously. The enforcement of all laws involve some element of capriciousness. This is partly what the Obama Administration calls prosecutorial discretion. It also involves the police's discretion as to which cases they'll investigate. However, when it becomes apparent that the law is primarily being enforced as a club against a select few (while others in similar circumstances are allowed to skate), equity may prevent such selective enforcement.

The government may point to the Chatwal case as evidence that the law is being applied evenhandedly. D'Sousa's lawyers will argue that the Chatwal case proves just the opposite.

Chatwal raised money for Hillary at a time she was Obama's biggest contender for the Democratic nomination for President. So, like D'Sousa, Chatwal can be said to have opposed Obama. Chatwal's contributions were also far larger than D'Sousa's and were made over multiple campaign cycles. So, if Chatwal is the standard by which we are to measure the evenhandedness of the law's administration, D'Sousa had a right to expect that he would have had to made much larger contributions over a far longer time before risking criminal prosecution. I doubt the government will be able to point to another criminal prosecution of an offense of a similar scale, while D'Sousa will be able to point to dozens of similarly scaled offenses that were either not punished or were handled civilly. (It helps that both political parties often file complaints with the FEC.) The difference (they'll argue) is D'Sousa's book and movie about Obama.

Rusty said...

It's the Chicago way!

Elliott A said...

This administration is completely fair to everyone.....that it chooses to be fair to. Everyone else is on the enemies list.

Anthony said...

In other news, water is wet.

Big Mike said...

Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren. Is there any leading Democrat politician who is not extremely thin-skinned?

Reagan and the two Bushes not only had thick skins, but they understood how to act like adults.

eric said...

This case interests me like the Bundy case interests me.

In both cases, they are clearly in violation of the law.

So why all the hubbub?

I think it's because we have seen with this administration many examples where people are clearly in violation of the law and the administration puts its hands over it's eyes and says, "We see no evil."

And so citizens rightly ask themselves, "If they do it for that guy, why not for me?"

And this sets a very dangerous precedent. We go from being a nation of laws, to a nation of men.

This really has me worried. We've taken a giant step in cultural jurisprudent thinking in this country during this administration and none of it is good.

kcom said...

The most transparent[ly corrupt] administration ever!

garage mahal said...

The Edwards prosecution was obviously politically motivated too. OBVIOUSLY.

Sorun said...

"Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren. Is there any leading Democrat politician who is not extremely thin-skinned?

Bill Clinton was our first Black president. Obama is our first woman president.

Douglas said...

Of course it's a political prosecution. However, it's almost impossible to defend a case on grounds of selective prosecution. The discretion of prosecutors to bring/not bring cases is almost absolute. The only remedy is political - to throw the bastards out of office.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah the Bundy case! Harry Reid recently told CBS News in Las Vegas that "something will happen" to Bundy.

That's our weedy, reedy little "Godfather" saying that "Bundy will sleep with the desert pupfishes"--or maybe will sleep with the desert tortoises.

Our political class is corrupt.

Levi Starks said...

If I were him I'd wear the prosecution as a badge of honor.

Humperdink said...

American Liberal Elite said:
"The Rule of Law:
1. If the facts are against you, argue the law.
2. If the law is against you, argue the facts.
3. If the facts and the law are against you, yell like hell.


New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted by Tom Wolfe "a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted."

If the feds want to get you, they are going to get you. And this administration plays that game. To argue otherwise is laughable.

Roger Sweeny said...

I see the appearance of corruption. Better repeal those campaign finance laws.

Chuck said...

I am going to repeat this every time the case of D'Souza comes up. (And it is a fascinating case!)

Famed Kevorkian/personal injury lawyer Geoffrey Fieger was tried for the same thing in a Detroit federal court. The amounts, and the artifice, in Feiger's case was much greater than in D'Souza's case.

Fieger hired superlawyer Gerry Spence as his counsel. Fieger beat the rap, despite some of the clearest evidence I can ever remember. It is my presumption that the critical part of the trial was the jury instruction specially-created by the trial judge, saying that Fieger had to have known that what he was doing was illegal.

It was a bizarre and little-reported aspect of that case.

I am waiting to see how D'Souza's case goes.

Of course, Fieger's claim at the time was also that his prosecution was politically motivated.

rhhardin said...

I always check no on the 1040 form for the $1 presidential campaign contribution for just that reason.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"No shit, anyone paying attention says."

And I'll rasie you a Voltaire, Bob Boyd:
"il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autre"

Bob Boyd said...

@ Hoodlum

“I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher. ”

Jupiter said...

The laws regarding campaign contributions are transparent violations of the First Amendment. How anyone can suppose differently is beyond me. So, how they are enforced is kind of beside the point. The government that imposed them is a worse enemy of American liberty than Al Qaeda. And a vastly more effective one.

ken in sc said...

Yes, this is political. Previously, it did not really matter that much if your side lost an election in the US. Policies you did not agree with might be enacted, but your everyday life was pretty much unaffected. It was sort of like if your favorite team lost a tournament. However, now if your side loses, you could be arrested. You could be harassed, audited, fired, fined, or your life destroyed completely. If this keeps up, it will become like the Spanish Civil War and some Latin American countries where political parties routinely machine gun one anther’s party headquarters. When the stakes are high enough, that's what happens.

Skipper said...

"Shut up", he said, slamming closed the iron bars.

The Godfather said...

I've said before, and I will say again, ALL THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS SHOULD BE REPEALED. The existence of these laws gives government the power to punish those who challenge government -- whoever is in charge of government at the time. The goal of these laws, to prevent the appearance of corruption, is laudable, but it is not worth giving government the power to punish its critics and opponents.

It turns out that the First Amendment was right after all.