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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 5:37 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 5:37 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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 252475

Reported Deaths: 5521
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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