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Politics

Dinesh D'Souza Charged With Election Fraud

Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza is charged with directing $20,000 of straw donations to a candidate around August 2012.

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Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative commentator and author, was indicted Thursday for arranging $20,000 in straw donations directed to an unnamed U.S. Senate candidate in 2012.

D'Souza faces one count of making illegal campaign contributions, which has a two year maximum sentence, and one count of causing others to make false statements, which carries a maximum five year sentence.

"As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "If, as alleged, the defendant directed others to make contributions to a Senate campaign and reimbursed them, that is a serious violation of federal campaign finance laws."

D'Souza's only campaign contributions in 2012 were to the failed Senate bid of Republican Wendy Long, who challenged incumbent Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) for her seat. D'Souza had also campaigned for Long.

D'Souza came under fire last last year when he tweeted that Obama was a "Grown-Up Trayvon" Martin.

He is expected to be arraigned Friday in Manhattan.

Jacob Fischler is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.

Contact Jacob Fischler at jacob.fischler@buzzfeed.com.

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