On May 31, 2018, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was pardoning Dinesh D’Souza. Back in 2014, the Washington Post reported that D’Souza was indicted for using straw donors to donate to a political campaign which violates campaign-finance laws.

A straw donor is someone who is given money, and then they donate it to a specific cause or person under their own name.

What is a pardon?

Article 2, Section 2 of the United States Constitution lists the Presidents pardoning power as such, “He shall have the power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” This Statement is saying that the President is allowed to forgive the person or do away with someone’s punishment if they believe the person was not deserving of the punishment they received.

President Trump’s tweet

President Trump tweeted earlier today that he would be pardoning D’Souza because he had been treated unfairly by the government. Pardoning is a necessary power for the president to have and it can be used to give a second chance to someone who deserves it, or release someone from a sentence or punishment that they do not deserve.

However, in this particular case, there was no wrongful conviction. There was a man who committed a crime and admitted to doing so. According to the FBI, back in September of 2014 D’Souza pled guilty to a violation of federal campaign law.

He used straw donors to donate over $10,000 to Wendy Long’s Senate campaign in 2014.

The Manhattan federal court gave him a sentence of five years of probation, requiring that he spent the first eight months in a community confinement center. CNN also reported that the official White House statement about the pardon read that D’Souza was “a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign-finance laws,” and also that he had taken responsibility for his actions as well as completed community service.

Could there be more pardons in the future?

The New York Times reports that President Trump is also considering pardoning former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and Martha Stewart; both of whom made appearances on "The Apprentice," a show that President Trump used to host on NBC. CNN reported that the president said that former Governor Blagojevich had said something that was “stupid,” and that having an eighteen-year sentence was “really unfair.” The statement referred to an incident several years ago in which the former governor allegedly tried to use his political leverage to sell a vacant Senate seat.