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Prosecutors: Cuckolded husband’s tape proves Dinesh D’Souza knew he broke campaign laws

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The attorney representing conservative filmmaker and activist Dinesh D’Souza claims that the case against his client is politically motivated and that D’Souza is being singled out for prosecution because of his work to discredit and undermine the administration of President Barack Obama.

The New York Times reported, however, that campaign donation records and incriminating audio tape indicate that the right-leaning activist knew full well that he was breaking the law and was even planning ahead of time what he would do if he got caught.

A former aide to the Reagan White House and author of The Roots of Obama’s Rage, D’Souza is charged with using straw donors to illegally contribute $20,000 to the U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long, a former school friend of D’Souza’s who unsuccessfully ran against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in 2012.

D’Souza’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement that D’Souza is guilty of nothing more than “an act of misguided friendship” and that the longtime pundit and political operative didn’t know that it was illegal to ask friends to donate money to Long on the promise that D’Souza would reimburse them later.

The federal government, said Brafman, has singled out D’Souza for prosecution due to his “consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism” of Pres. Obama and the Democratic Party.

Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment, but filed papers last week saying that Brafman’s selective prosecution claims are “entirely without merit.” Prosecutors submitted documents to the court showing that in March of 2012, D’Souza attempted to donate $10,000 to Long’s campaign and was informed by the campaign that the donation was double the legal limit of $5,000 per individual.

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The campaign wrote D’Souza back asking if the donation was from him and his then-wife, and included the necessary papers for an individual donation from both D’Souzas. The papers were completed and returned to the campaign, although Mrs. D’Souza has since informed prosecutors that the donation was made with neither her knowledge nor her consent.

Furthermore, the cuckolded husband of Denise Joseph — D’Souza’s mistress in the affair that ended his marriage and another straw donor to Long’s campaign — made audio recordings in October, 2012 of his wife discussing D’Souza’s plans should he get caught making the illegal donations.

Ms. Joseph told her then-husband that D’Souza planned to plea guilty if caught, but would first plead not guilty in order to make use of the limited window of time he would purportedly have “to get his story out there.”

That and “(t)he evidence of illegality with regard to his own and his wife’s contribution,” the U.S. Attorney’s office wrote, “will help prove that the defendant knew that what he was doing in August 2012 was wrong and it was not a fleeting, accidental misjudgment; it was part of a larger pattern of flouting campaign finance limits he knew existed.”

D’Souza pleaded not guilty a criminal indictment in January. His trial is slated for next month. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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