Fox News: Rosie O'Donnell should be prosecuted if she violated campaign finance law

Originally posted at Fox News by Dinesh D’Souza.

The New York Post recently reported that “Rosie O’Donnell made illegally over-sized campaign donations to at least five Democratic federal candidates, according to a Post analysis of campaign filings.”

The Post story goes on to state: “The liberal comedian has regularly broken Federal Election Commission rules limiting the total any one person can give to an individual candidate at $2,700 per election. The limit applies separately to primaries, runoffs and general elections.”

If the Post story is accurate, federal prosecutors have an obligation to charge O’Donnell with violating campaign finance law and to put her on trial. And if she’s found guilty, my advice to the sentencing judge would be to give her a sentence including confinement and a sizable fine – just as I received for violating campaign finance law.

If I – a prominent conservative – can be labeled a criminal for donating too much to a campaign, then far-left, Trump-bashing O’Donnell should get the same treatment.

If I must endure being a lifelong felon while O’Donnell gets off scot-free, can we say that Lady Justice is truly blind?

Lots of people in every election give more than they’re supposed to. In other words, campaign finance violations are extremely common. And they are almost never seriously prosecuted.

The New York Post article quoted prominent campaign finance lawyer Jan Witold Baran as saying: “Donors are rarely fined for excess contributions and then only if they are hiding the donations from the recipients.”

I was an exception to the rule and that has made me particularly interested in how campaign finance violations are handled. In the 2012 case, I gave $20,000 over the limit to a single candidate – Wendy Long, a college friend of mine running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in New York.

For that I was sentenced in U.S. District Court in New York City to eight months of overnight confinement, a $30,000 fine, five years of probation and one day of community service per week for five years. I’m still on probation and still doing the community service, which doesn’t expire until October 2019.

Now Rosie O’Donnell has been caught exceeding the campaign finance limit by giving more than the maximum permitted donation of $2,700 to victorious Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones in Alabama, victorious Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania, and to three other candidates, the Post reported.

O’Donnell’s defense, as she wrote in an email to the Post, is that she didn’t know she was exceeding the limits. She wrote that candidates “should refund the money” if she donated too much, and added that “I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”

I find this defense implausible because O’Donnell used four different – though similar –variations of her name and five different addresses.

The way O’Donnell choreographed her contributions clearly suggests that she was trying to conceal the fact that they were all coming from the same person. I suspect she knew she was breaking the law.

But even if O’Donnell was telling the truth, the law doesn’t work like that. Her defense is about as logical as the guy who thinks he can go just as fast as he wants on the highway, and believes that if he’s going too fast the cops can stop him and tell him to slow down. Try that the next time you get stopped and you’ll see it’s a futile defense.

Now in the old days, say the 1980s, if you had told me about O’Donnell’s offense and asked me whether I thought she should go to jail for it, I would have said she should not. Why?

First, because these campaign finance limits don’t make a whole lot of sense. Why set an arbitrary $2,700 limit when millionaires and billionaires can easily get around them and give huge amounts through political action committees?

Second, justice demands that the penalty fit the crime. Campaign finance prosecutions make the most sense when there is corruption involved: when someone is trying to get a quid pro quo, which is to say, get appointed to a position, or obtain favors from candidates upon their election. This was obviously not the case with O’Donnell.

Normally, O’Donnell’s type of offense is punished with community service and a fine. But we are not living in normal types, as my own campaign finance case illustrates.

Mine was a clear instance of politically motivated prosecution. Two indications of that are contained right in my FBI file, which is now in the hands of a congressional oversight committee.

In the FBI file, I’m red-flagged as a political conservative who made a movie critical of President Obama. Why mention this? The FBI did it to signal to the Obama Justice Department and its stooges that I was a political enemy they might want to prosecute.

The FBI also made an initial outlay of $100,000 to investigate my $20,000 case. Again, this is odd. But it is also consistent with a political hit. Clearly the FBI was working in cahoots with Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and his prosecutorial team in New York City to make sure that they nailed their target.

Finally, the injustice of the case can be seen in the verdict. No American has been even charged, let alone received such a severe penalty, for doing what I did. And no prominent person on the other side of the aisle had a similar case, until O’Donnell’s situation was recently brought to light.

O’Donnell seems by all accounts to have broken the law, and broken it five times. This makes her offense five times worse than mine, in my view.

I’m not saying she deserves five times the penalty I received, but I am saying that assuming the facts are true as reported by the Post – as O’Donnell herself seems to admit – she should receive at least a severe a penalty as mine. She is, after all, a serial or repeat offender and repeat offenses are always taken more seriously than a first and one-time offense.

Yet the same people who are jubilant over my conviction have gone dead silent on O’Donnell. They know my prosecution was political, and they approve. But now they want O’Donnell to get off with the normal treatment that usually goes with offenses uncontaminated by corrupt motives.

Yet justice isn’t just a matter of whether someone broke the law, but also about whether other similarly situated people are treated the same way. If I must endure being a lifelong felon while O’Donnell gets off scot-free, can we say that Lady Justice is truly blind? Of course not.

In an earlier time, President Jimmy Carter would no more dream of locking me up for exceeding a campaign limit than Ronald Reagan would consider locking up left-wing activist Michael Moore for the same offense. It was a kinder, gentler America.

But we don’t live in that America. The Democratic Party has been gangsterized by the likes of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, who were not above using the instruments of the state to put their political adversaries behind bars. And this course of action is generally approved by the progressive left in the media and groups like Media Matters.

There is only one solution to this: Do the same to them! And maybe this will show them that two can play at this game, and that if they don’t want their team being locked up for minor offenses, stop doing this to the other side. Paradoxically, the best hope for a return to civility and normalcy is to prosecute Rosie O’Donnell to the full extent of the law.

The Trump Justice Department should work with the U.S. attorneys in every district that O’Donnell may have broken the law. I’d like to see her face multiple indictments. And I won’t be especially sorry if she suffers the same fate I did, or worse, because I expect that she was one of those who cheered the loudest when I had my sentence read out to me.

Read more at Fox News.


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  • Robert C. says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    Prosecute to the full extent of the law.

  • Martin Rettig says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Prosecuted to the full extent of the law, sorry you wen through S**t by the powers that be.

  • Jim b says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    Please. Please. Please
    Lock her up! Same for Rosie!!

  • Donna says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    I agree, Rosie should pay a price for deliberately violating our laws. I’ve been saying that ever since I found out what she did.

  • Tim Cogswell says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Thanks for writing “The Big Lie”… now that book is one heck of an ‘eye-opener’! If that was used by academics as a text book, there would be nothing left of the Democrat Party. Well done!

  • Bob Urstadt says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:49 PM

    Hi Dinesh: Keep up the good work! I have always had a question about campaign finance.
    If I go on – for instance, I can read about large sums – millions 0f Dollars that are coming from corporations or organizations directly to candidate’s campaigns and not always to some PAC representing them.
    How does this work ? Is the only requirement that you need to have a company or organization ? That is of
    course all too easy to set up. You can’t tell me that all of the people in a company are contributors. If So,in all likelihood there is laundering going on. We see these large donations and accept them as a standard practice
    and there are 2 sets of rules. This is perhaps something to expose, regarding people like Soros and Steyer.

  • Edd Eaton says:

    May 10, 2018 at 1:50 PM

    While you are correct in thinking she should be locked up, you should know by know the left has ,if any at all, class, ethics and respect for the rule of law. They are not to be held to the same standard as conservatives in America today. In fact there are very little if any standards and a rapid lack of accountability of them. Disgusting at best. One cell wouldn’t hold her though.

  • Casey says:

    May 10, 2018 at 2:10 PM

    More proof that Washington DC political corruption is now the norm. The country is slowly becoming a Banana Republic.

    Corruption in Washington DC has always been there but NEVER at the level that it reached under the reign of Barack Hussein Obama. Under Obama’s administration, the government departments were weaponized against all the opponents to the Democratic Party and Barack Hussein Obama. Under Obama it was so bad that they didn’t even try to hide it. People like Lois Learner, who targeted conservative organizations, Eric Holder who illegally ran a debacle named “Fast and Furious” where guns were given to the Mexican Drug Cartels (just ask Brian Terry) and, of course, the Clintons, who ran/run a phony charity with only a small amount of donated money actually going to charitable causes.

    You can expect nothing to happen to Rosie O’Donnell because she is a member of the Democratic Political cabal.

    Casey Dial – Citizen of BRA – (BRA = Banana Republic of America)

  • Hanebury John says:

    May 10, 2018 at 2:25 PM

    I find it sickening that corrupt democrats seem to skate so much more than republicans/conservatives. Even obama was not challenged for his fraudulent BC (determined to be so through many months of investigation by Sheriff Arpaio’s cold case posse). The corrupt media would not touch this nor would even the republicans. Why? Because they are also corrupt. I would be surprised if O’Donnell will serve any time and most likely will not be even charged. It is sad how far our country has fallen in my lifetime. But then, as the Bible says, the prince of the air (Satan) rules the earth at this time.

  • MARINA says:

    May 10, 2018 at 2:39 PM


  • Mary says:

    May 10, 2018 at 2:45 PM

    Yes, Rosie should be prosecuted if she did not adhere to the campaign donation laws! Equal treatment under the law.

  • Lynne Cuddie says:

    May 10, 2018 at 3:04 PM

    This story is disgusting, tho not surprising at all! And it shows that “The Swamp” is like an Octopus, with tentacles reaching in all directions!

    Let’s all Twitter Donald Trump to pardon Dinesh D’Souza & also incarcerate Rosie O’Donell for the same amount of time that Dinesh served, along with the same probation afterwards.

  • Alan Updike says:

    May 10, 2018 at 3:11 PM

    Please tell me everything we can possibly do to encourage the prosecution of that left-wing, fraud liberal hack Rosie O’Donnell. Her ongoing political commentary is destructive and poisonous. To give her a “free pass” is a miscarriage of justice. Lets all do everything to apply pressure!

  • Miroslav Mitrovic says:

    May 10, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    It would be very interesting to see development of this story. Trash like her and many other alike should be locked for life. In the other hand you are one of the greatest Americans. Movie Hillary’s America is the best documentary ever made and it is the only movie that I watched 6 (six) times. I love your most recent book The Big Lie and I am proud owner of the signed copy. Thank you for what you are doing. I came to this country based on the American values just like you and I am not happy to see how they are destroying America.

  • Judy Dell says:

    May 10, 2018 at 3:52 PM

    I totally agree that what dosauza has written and said… I have followed his persecution for a long time. He was targeted because the left frankly was out to get him. He should be cleared from this and his record be recended. Then I feel Justice would be would be served!
    Hope my coments will help him in some way. He deserves to be exonerated.

  • Kenneth deGruchy Jr says:

    May 10, 2018 at 4:46 PM

    Dinesh: I see food for another movie. This one will be about the trial of (or non trial) of Rosie and the unfairness and politicization of our justice system done as only D’souza media can do it.

  • sandie says:

    May 10, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    I totally agree with you, Dinesh, but considering the trail of dead bodies in the Clintons’ wake, I think you’re lucky to still be alive!

  • Skip says:

    May 10, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    Let justice be equal to those on both sides. Rosie O’Donnell would love to be the Democrat poster child in this violation.

  • Blaz says:

    May 10, 2018 at 6:52 PM

    Lock her UP ! with Hillary. But then perhaps she would enjoy being with HER. I seen to remember this … ” I’m With Her ” from some time back … before 8 Nov 2016, I think so ?Her fine should be at $30,000 times 5 , as well as her time.

    Keep up the good work.

    Blaz Z Toups

    PS POTUS should give you a pardon.

  • Joy says:

    May 10, 2018 at 11:51 PM

    Can you help me understand the pros and cons of universal basic income?

  • Neal W. Welsh, prof. says:

    May 11, 2018 at 3:00 AM

    I have no use for that hypocritical destructor of our republic Rosie O’Donnell. That goes for her Democratic cohorts too! Anybody allied with her, Hillary and the rest of the mob of leftists, including the illegal alien in our midst one illegal former so- called president, Obama. My heroes include the likes of Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, the president himself, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, just to name a few. Yes, we are blessed with great capable patriotic personages. We should put them in high office where they can rehabilitate our badly damaged Nation. It’s our own fault should we not take advantage of the talented patriotic intelligent souls among us. We are blessed to have these talents. And D’Souza himself would make a great Secretary of State. By now you get the idea. Remember what Mr. Levin said about 6 years ago regarding the Democrat Party, that these are no longer a legitimate political party, that these constitute no more than a “criminal enterprise!” Yes, and it has only gotten worse!

  • M Montgomery says:

    May 11, 2018 at 3:53 PM

    Totally agree. There seems to be huge double-standard.

    I love your work Dinesh. You keep getting better and better. Love that you are on the campuses. It’s a tough job and you have unique talent, qualifications, and stomach for it. I hope you can hang in there. American needs you.

  • Rebecca Hatcher says:

    May 11, 2018 at 4:47 PM

    A bigger problem must be considered. As O’Donnell used four different aliases at four different addresses to contribute funds – It is HIGHLY LIKELY she registered to vote and has voted illegally for many years.