EXCLUSIVE: Dinesh D’Souza Tells Backstory Of His Pardon

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was the major impetus behind the Thursday pardon of Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative activist tells The Daily Caller.

D’Souza noted that he and his wife had dinner with Cruz approximately a month ago. At the dinner, the senator made clear he would push for a pardon during his conversations with President Donald Trump. D’Souza said he then received a call in recent days from Cruz, who told him Trump was very receptive to the pardon and that action could be coming imminently.

D’Souza took care to note that he did not push for a pardon or join any petitions circulating online because he thought it would be “unseemly” and because he was not a “Trumpster” during the Republican presidential primary campaign. He noted that Cruz was not the only person who pushed Trump for pardon and that other members of the president’s inner circle had done so.

“I did not feel entitled to a pardon” after Trump’s election, he said, adding that “my relief and elation is part of that.”

D’Souza plead guilty in 2014 to making illegal campaign donations to Republican candidate Wendy Long. He has long maintained that he was unfairly targeted by the Obama administration for his political activism against the former president.

The president called D’Souza late Thursday night to tell him of his decision and told him, “You’re a great voice for freedom, a great voice for America, and you got screwed,” D’Souza recounted to TheDC.

“I’m determined to set this right, Trump told D’Souza, “because of your influence and to make you an even greater voice for freedom.”

D’Souza said he was struck by Trump’s “gut sense of justice” and that any other Republican administration would have had endless “strategy meetings, focus groups, try to see whether it would benefit them politically, and that is not Trump.”

D’Souza noted that he does not maintain his innocence but that “I broke the law and should receive the same punishment as any American who does the same thing.”