He also personally contributed $10,000 to the campaign of Republican Wendy Long, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in NY in 2012 - twice the legal limit for individual contributions at the time. He was sentenced to five years of probation, including eight months living under supervision in a "community confinement center" in San Diego, and a $30,000 fine. Then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who prosecuted the case, emphatically denied any political motivation.
D'Souza said that during a dinner about a month ago, Cruz said he would push for a pardon in conversations with Trump. Cohen, meanwhile, is under investigation by federal prosecutors in NY for possible campaign-finance violations and other possible crimes.
"But he said, upon reviewing it, he felt a great injustice had been done and that using his power, he was going to rectify it, sort of clear the slate", Mr. D'Souza said of his conversation with Mr. Trump.
Previously Trump has pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Trump supporter convicted of criminal contempt of court, the late boxer Jack Johnson and a former sailor, Kristian Mark Saucier, who was convicted of unauthorized use of classified information.
The federal prosecutor who oversaw Stewart's case in NY was James Comey, one of Trump's principal antagonists and the man he fired as FBI director a year ago. "However, I believe this is opening a door, and if he doesn't follow through with [more] people who are not well-known, I think that will be extremely disappointing".
"They were convicted of lying to prosecutors and of campaign finance violations", Wright said. He retweeted Trump's tweet about the forthcoming pardon, but did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment sent to his media company, D'Souza Media. "D'SOUZA was sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman", the statement said. He said he telephoned D'Souza on Wednesday night.
D'Souza said in one of the tweets that it was the "worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs".
Bharara weighed in on Trump's action shortly after it was announced, writing on Twitter that Trump had the right to pardon D'Souza but "the facts are these: D'Souza intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct & the judge found no unfairness".
Whatever Trump's motivations are, commuting Blagojevich's sentence would be no travesty of justice at this point.
Trump noted that even though Blagojevich was Democrat, "He's not my party". The Libby case was taken up by conservatives who argued he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel. "I am not getting into process, but what I will say is the president has the constitutional authority". But because there were pending requests at the end of the Obama administration, the total number of requests for pardons pending before Trump is 2,271 and 8,932 for commutation.
In response, D'Souza tweeted his excitement over Trump's decision.