Earlier last week, Donald Trump’s pardon of conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza led to an eruption of criticism by academics and politicians concerned with the president’s unorthodox use of pardoning power. D’Souza was convicted on felony charges of campaign finance violations in 2014, for contributing more than the $10,000 individual donation limit to a Senate campaign by funnelling money through straw donors.

President Trump turned D’Souza’s conviction into a cause célèbre on the campaign trail, utilizing the filmmaker’s legal predicament as a counterpoint to the supposed easy treatment he claimed Hillary Clinton had received from federal authorities. In pardoning D’Souza, Trump called the 2014 conviction “fishy.”

Join the Discussion
What does President Trump’s pardoning frenzy actually mean?