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Trump to pardon conservative provocateur Dinesh D'Souza

President Trump announced Thursday that he would grant a presidential pardon to conservative provocateur Dinesh D'Souza.

D'Souza pleaded guilty to a felony related to campaign finance violations in 2014, after he made $20,000 in illegal contributions to a New York Senate candidate. He was sentenced to five years probation and several months in a confinement center. Trump tweeted that D'Souza "was treated very unfairly by our government!"

After years of ferociously partisan and often-unfounded claims about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, D'Souza is considered persona non grata on much of the right, though he remains something of a folk hero in other conservative circles. In 2010, he wrote a cover story about Obama for Forbes that Columbia Journalism Review called "a fact-twisting, error-laden piece of paranoia. This is the worst kind of smear journalism — a singularly disgusting work."

The pundit has since published several books and produced many films about the Democratic Party. He has repeatedly publicly called his conviction "selective prosecution," claiming officials came after him for political reasons and that the Obama administration wanted to punish him for his beliefs.