Originally posted at WND.
A psychiatrist’s report reviewed by WND confirms statements from defense attorney Benjamin Brafman to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman in a sentencing review hearing in Manhattan that his client, filmmaker and bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza, is not suffering from any psychological disorders.
WND reported after the hearing that Berman, a Democrat appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1998, said he considers D’Souza’s violation of campaign-finance laws to be evidence of a psychological problem and ordered further counseling.
During the hearing, Brafman referenced that the defense had provided evidence to the court that a psychiatrist had evaluated D’Souza and had documented in a written consultation statement to the court there was no need to continue the psychiatric consultation because D’Souza, a strong critic of Barack Obama, was psychologically normal and well adjusted.
To document Brafman’s claim to Berman, D’Souza forwarded to WND a written statement authored by Dr. Roger L. Gould, M.D., a psychoanalyst and a psychiatrist practicing in the states of New York and California.
Gould’s conclusion stated without qualification, “I see no evidence of psychopathology and certainly no need for any kind of psychotropic medication.”
‘No symptoms,’ psychiatrist concludes
Gould’s 5-page report left no doubt D’Souza was correct in stating he wasn’t suffering from any psychological symptoms that would justify continued psychological consultation.
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“I had seen him [Dinesh D’Souza] as a patient over a four-month period in late 2013 which gives me extensive direct knowledge of him as a person and as a patient,” Gould noted in his report. “I have updated my knowledge of his mental status by our phone conversations and the MMPI [Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory] attached to this report.
“He [D’Souza] lives his professional life as an intellectual. He writes, lectures and produces documentary films,” Gould continued. “His passion is for words, ideas, politics and history.”
Gould made clear D’Souza has accepted personal responsibility for his actions and that he has accepted his guilty plea and subsequent criminal sentence as a mature adult.
“He does not have the symptoms of anxiety or depression,” Gould continued in his conclusion. “He is not an angry person with an impulse disorder. I do not believe that he is hiding anything. He is what he presents himself to be. He is a man who made a mistake for good motives that led to bad judgment.
“He is very ambitious and dedicated to his work which consumes most of his mental energies,” Gould stressed. “He had very little time to give to his old friend and gave too much money instead. He is paying for that mistake and has accepted the penalty without rancor or resentment.”
‘A family matter’
Gould specifically addressed D’Souza’s legal problems.
“In my recent phone interviews with him [D’Souza], I queried him about his legal situation and the motives that were at work that led to his misguided decision to circumvent the campaign financing laws,” Gould wrote. “It may have made more sense to me than to him at the time of our initial discussion because the bulk of my professional writing the last 25 years has been about the lifecycle, the various adaptations and challenges that take place during defined age transitions.”
Gould traced his explanation of D’Souza’s motivations back to D’Souza’s college experience at Dartmouth where he was an Indian-born student seeking to integrate into U.S. college life.
“I believe the root cause of his motivation to help is tied to the early college years when he met the candidate to whom he donated money,” Gould wrote. “In the college years, the transition between child and adult is the critical developmental challenge. The typical situation is a student who has lived most of his or her life under the roof of the family now moves to a dormitory in another city or state.
“That’s when the student has to find a new family of peers, test out and determine values, and within that new family find a place of safety and security based on common beliefs and friendships,” Gould continued. “Mr. D’Souza found that family in a group that held strong conservative political values. His verbal and thinking skills were honed and appreciated by the group as he became an integral member. This critical development period determined the shape of his professional life.”
‘Most stupid criminal ever, but not crazy’
“The motivation that got him into his current legal difficulty was to be a loyal supporter of a ‘family member’ with money rather than donating even more of his professional time, which was already overcommitted. From his point of view it was an act of generosity even though ultimately a clearly wrong decision,” he wrote.
Gould elaborated on the family theme, making clear his analysis that D’Souza had bonded to Wendy Long at Dartmouth as a member of his college “family,” underlining the identification with the United States that D’Souza sought as an immigrant determined to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“This new family phenomena had an exaggerated effect on Mr. D’Souza because of his particular history,” Gould noted. “His family of origin was in India. He was a good student planning on being an engineer like his father. He was offered an opportunity to study in the United States as a high school student and then offered an opportunity to go to Dartmouth.
“He was an outsider in the United States who became an insider, accepted and appreciated as someone who uses words and concepts rather than a slide ruler,” Gould continued. “His current identity started within this new family, and has been the basis of a very successful career and lifestyle that fits his talents and personality quite well.”
Gould’s explanation of D’Souza’s motivation in arranging the straw donors corresponds closely to D’Souza’s own evaluation of why he committed the felony.
In forwarding Gould’s analysis to WND, D’Souza said, “I may be the most stupid criminal ever, but I am not crazy.”
D’Souza made the straw donor arrangements in what he describes as an “impulsive decision” to help a friend that he reached without giving the matter much thought.
“I really should have called my lawyer to get some advice,” D’Souza told WND in a telephone interview. “There were any number of ways I could have gotten Wendy Long the $10,000 legally. If I had just gifted her the money, there would have been no legal problem. But I was in a rush and I made a quick decision that I obviously should have thought about more seriously.”
On May 20, 2014, D’Souza pleaded guilty to a federal felony, admitting he uncharacteristically violated the law by convincing two associates to donate $5,000 each to the unsuccessful Senate race of Wendy Long, a close college friend with whom he had no romantic relationship.
Except for this offense, D’Souza, now 54 years old, has a completely clean criminal record.
‘Quite well adjusted’
Gould’s report discussed his analysis of how D’Souza was reacting to the reality of his criminal conviction and how he was adjusting to the reality of the criminal sentence imposed upon him.
“Mr. D’Souza at this point in time is quite well adjusted to the difficult circumstances of his probation and the recent travail of prosecution and the stigma associated with his penalty,” Gould concluded.
Gould’s psychological report specifically discussed D’Souza’s adjustment to his eight months of nighttime confinement at a San Diego detention center.
“He sleeps well in noisy crowded conditions and does not report any significant anxiety or depression,” Gould commented. “He does not require any psychotropic medications and is able to concentrate on his work and continues to be productive in his endeavors.”
Gould also commented that he felt D’Souza was being honest with him in the setting of a clinical analysis.
“I would anticipate that anyone would try to look their best when doing a court mandated psychological test but in this case I don’t think that is the issue,” Gould wrote. “I do believe that Mr. D’Souza has totally accepted the sentence of the court and is getting on with his life within the restrictions imposed by that sentence.”
‘A social-worker background, with a psych major’
In ordering D’Souza to continue psychological counseling with a new doctor, Berman effectively overruled the judgment of Gould, as well as the court-approved psychologist D’Souza had consulted with the approval of his federal parole agent.
“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” Berman explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.”
“I’m not singling out Mr. D’Souza to pick on him,” Berman insisted. “A requirement for psychological counseling often comes up in my hearings in cases where I find it hard to understand why someone did what they did.
“You have to understand I have a background in social-work with a psychology major,” Berman said, “I’m sensitive to mental health issues in the criminal cases I hear and I do not want to end psychological counseling at this time in Mr. D’Souza’s case.”
After graduating from New York University School of Law in 1967, Berman received a social work degree from Fordham University in 1996.
In contrast, Gould is a board-certified psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with a 25-year history of publishing bestselling books and articles in peer reviewed medical journals on psychological topics and a medical practice history that includes having served as the former Head of Community Psychiatry and Outpatient Psychiatry at UCLA.
WND has reported previously that in the sentencing hearing held on Sept. 23, 2014, Berman had argued extensively that he could not understand how someone of D’Souza’s intelligence, with credentials that include serving as a college president, could do something so stupid as to violate federal campaign contribution laws when he was at the pinnacle of his career, just as he was writing bestselling non-fiction books and producing profitable feature film documentaries.
Read more at WND.
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