How Ted Cruz helped get Dinesh D'Souza his presidential pardon

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz played a key role in convincing President Donald Trump to pardon Dinesh D'Souza, a wel...

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 6:37 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 6:37 PM

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz played a key role in convincing President Donald Trump to pardon Dinesh D'Souza, a well-known conservative filmmaker and writer, who pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign donations in 2014.

According to D'Souza, it was Cruz who raised the issue with Trump and made D'Souza's pardoning a priority.

D'Souza told CNN in a phone interview Friday that roughly a month ago, he and his wife Debbie met with Ted and Heidi Cruz for dinner at the Cruz's home in Houston. It was at the dinner, that the issue came up and according to D'Souza, Cruz made it clear that he wanted to help D'Souza be pardoned.

"Ted Cruz said he had a strong conviction that I had been treated badly and unfairly and was determined to raise the issue with President Trump about me getting a pardon," D'Souza said.

After Cruz spoke to Trump about the issue, D'Souza said that Cruz called him and told him that the issue had been raised and Trump seemed receptive, but Cruz cautioned D'Souza that the process was not guaranteed and that the was a long review process still ahead.

D'Souza said he "cautiously" took it as good news.

A spokesman for Cruz told CNN that "we did raise it with them and we are happy they made the decision they did," however the spokesman declined to get into any details about the conversations surrounding the pardon.

Trump had told reporters Thursday that no one had asked him to pardon D'Souza

Thursday, Cruz celebrated via tweet.

"Bravo! @realDonaldTrump Dinesh was the subject of a political prosecution, brazenly targeted by the Obama administration bc of his political views. And he's a powerful voice for freedom, systematically dismantling the lies of the Left-which is why they hate him. This is Justice."

According to D'Souza, he and Cruz's relationship dates back to 2012 when D'Souza recalls that Cruz had rented out a movie theater to show his 2012 film about Obama, "2016: Obama's America," to supporters.

The relationship expands beyond the political to the personal.

In 2016, Cruz's father Rafael Cruz, a well-known preacher, married D'Souza and his wife Debbie.

"My wife Debbie is a life-long Texan," D'Souza said. "She is a native of Venezuela and she came to America at the age of 10. She has lived in Texas since then. She was the head of a large Republican club called Spirit of Freedom... in that capacity she knows a lot of the political figures in Texas. She has organized a lot of events that Ted Cruz has participated [in.] She is friends with Ted Cruz and politically well-connected in Texas."

D'Souza told CNN he was "elated and relieved" to be pardoned.

"I think I have come through it strong, and I've tried not to let my troubles deter me from speaking out on public issues," he said. "It is wonderful to have a full restoration of my rights and a full restoration of my American dream."

The conservative author and filmmaker pled guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014 after he was indicted earlier that year on charges that he illegally used straw donors to contribute to Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long in New York in 2012.

He previously accused Obama of adopting "the cause of anti-colonialism" from his Kenyan father. In a 2010 Forbes magazine cover story he also referred to Obama's father as a "philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions."

Terre Haute
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 79°
Robinson
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 78°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 80°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 75°
Casey
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 76°
Brazil
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 79°
Marshall
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Sunny and warm!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Food vendors at Summer Fest take extra precautions to keep you safe

Image

Execution day, protesting information

Image

Execution day, a live look hours before the execution

Image

Monday: Mostly sunny with average temperatures. High: 86°

Image

Federal Executions Resuming

Image

TH Women's City Golf Championship

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Ryan Lieberman

Image

Zoe Stewart

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 155048

Reported Deaths: 7388
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook955574725
Lake10378428
DuPage9719486
Kane8107281
Will7278326
Winnebago3169106
St. Clair2304144
McHenry2266102
Kankakee143166
Madison119870
Rock Island119430
Unassigned1185201
Kendall106323
Champaign104017
Peoria66630
DeKalb64220
Boone63721
Sangamon53133
Jackson35619
McLean32215
Randolph3157
Ogle3144
Stephenson2856
LaSalle25917
Macon25322
Clinton24616
Union21219
Whiteside21215
Grundy1945
Coles19117
Iroquois1755
Tazewell1758
Knox1700
Adams1691
Williamson1614
Monroe15913
Warren1490
Cass1409
Morgan1344
Henry1161
Jefferson11417
McDonough10815
Lee1072
Vermilion892
Pulaski840
Marion770
Montgomery741
Macoupin693
Douglas610
Perry611
Jo Daviess551
Livingston552
Christian514
Woodford482
Jasper477
Franklin460
Jersey431
Ford421
Clark410
Bureau372
Menard320
Effingham311
Cumberland290
Mercer290
Johnson260
Alexander250
Washington250
Fayette243
Mason240
Moultrie240
Wabash230
Bond222
Carroll212
Hancock211
Logan210
Piatt210
Crawford200
Shelby201
Edgar190
Wayne191
De Witt180
Saline170
Fulton160
Massac160
Schuyler130
Lawrence120
Marshall120
Brown100
White100
Greene90
Richland90
Henderson80
Hamilton70
Pike70
Gallatin60
Stark60
Clay50
Edwards50
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 51612

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12074693
Lake5650249
Elkhart361860
Allen2952134
St. Joseph214869
Hamilton1708101
Cass16459
Hendricks1466100
Johnson1345118
Porter84038
Tippecanoe7799
Vanderburgh7686
Clark71144
Madison67864
LaPorte62328
Howard60758
Bartholomew60145
Kosciusko5824
Marshall5579
Noble52028
Boone49144
LaGrange48610
Jackson4783
Delaware47552
Hancock46836
Shelby45925
Floyd41444
Monroe34828
Morgan34531
Grant32226
Dubois3096
Montgomery29820
Henry29618
Clinton2903
White27610
Dearborn26523
Warrick26129
Vigo2588
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Harrison21822
Greene19632
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1586
Daviess15117
Perry14910
Steuben1382
Orange13723
Jasper1362
Ripley1347
Franklin1288
Gibson1242
Wabash1163
Carroll1142
Starke1083
Whitley1076
Fayette1067
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells821
Randolph804
Fulton731
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush623
Posey610
Spencer571
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193