Queue up the indignation. And the double standards.
Important Note: I am neither a fan nor a critic of D’Souza. I know that he is a conservative activist and documentarian, but I’ve never read nor seen any of his work. Ergo, I write this story with no personal agenda other than what I’m writing. Don’t read anything else into it. Enough said.
Trump is apparently going to pardon Dinesh D’Souza. This will (to some extent, rightly) bring squeals of indignation from those politically opposed to the President and D’Souza. So it will merit some thoughtful discussion, which Mollie Hemingway has been so kind to provide for us. (Article linked below).
D’Souza’s crime? A $20,000 violation of campaign finance laws, to which he pleaded guilty. Dinesh was sentenced in 2014, and served 8 months in a work-release center. He is still on probation, which was a five year term scheduled to end next year.
Now, if he is pardoned only because he supports the President, I’d agree that that’s an unfair use of the presidential pardon. However, the D’Souza matter was always questioned by conservatives because it seemed to be a matter of selective prosecution, which is a bigger issue to enter into the discussion, because…….double standards, vis a vis who gets prosecuted and who doesn’t…….seem to happen all the time.
First off, there’s Mark Rich. Clinton people know the Mark Rich story, because they’ve been rationalizing it for two decades now. No need to redux it here. Time wrote a decent article about it, there’s a good one from Slate here, which also brings Eric Holder’s morals and character into question (if anybody still thinks Holder has either), and one here from the Post, showing how the Clinton’s have become very, very rich because of that pardon.
Mollie, however, ups the ante by adding in a profile of Jon Corzine, who, well….here’s what’s up with Jon Corzine. As you read the profile, consider how out of character this all sounds for left-leaning politicians who are suspicious of Wall Street, and who criticize other politicians for things like “government shutdowns”, failing to provide tax returns as candidates, and problematic morality. (Corzine personally falls into the left-leaning “progressive” category, it should be said.)
- Former co-CEO of Goldman Sachs (with Hank Paulsen).
- Made the wrong bet on Long Term Capital Management, which was kind of the “it” financial scandal of the late 90’s. Was then forced out of GS.
- After having been forced out of GS because of LTCM and other business activities of questionable legality and morality, spent $62M of his own money to win a Senate seat in NJ. (2000)
- Because of his checkered business history, his election opponent Democrats didn’t think it was a big deal.demanded that Corzine release his tax returns, which is traditional in NJ politics. Corzine refused to do so. NJ elected him anyway.
- Corzine ran for gov of NJ in 2006, and won. His tenure as governor was controversial; he ran up significant debt, he shut the government down in order to obtain a tax increase, and had an affair with a married woman (which he himself was still married, although separated) who happened to be head of the Communications Workers Association and thus a primary backer of Corzine as well as a lobbyist. Quite a conflict of interest there. More details are linked to in Mollie’s article. (But all this should sound familiar) :-)
- After leaving the governorship, Corzine went back to Wall Street, taking over as CEO of MF Global in 2010. Within a year, MF Global was bankrupt due to bad bond trades; it was one of the ten largest bankruptcies in US history (and most of you didn’t know that, did you?)
- When the Fed did their due dilgence on what happened and why, it was found that MF Global had shifted a BILLION DOLLARS from client accounts to cover the bad trades. This is known as “theft”, it is completely against the law, and there existed proof that Corzine not just knew about it, but he ordered it.
- This is where we have to mention that Corzine was one of Mr. Obama’s top bundlers, having raised over half a BILLION dollars for his political campaigns.
- The Feds dropped their investigation into Corzine in 2013.
The purpose of the above is NOT to do a “yea, well, what about Corzine and Rich” response to the D’Souza pardon. The purpose is to call out the double standards we’re sure to see by the press and politicos on this matter, and to point out that we have a rather unequal application of the law being practiced by both parties. Apparently, in the US, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others by definition.