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NEW YORK – “Schindler’s List” producer Gerald Molen, who is working on a new film with conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, says he will be watching for a federal court to deliver justice when a sentencing hearing is held in the fall on D’Souza’s violation of campaign laws.
D’Souza on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one part of a federal indictment in a plea bargain that had prosecutors give up on the worst counts. He will be sentenced in September.
There have been claims the case was a politically charged prosecution from the outset. Molen said he will be among those watching to make sure politics don’t influence the sentencing.
Molen issued a statement after D’Souza’s court hearing Tuesday.
“This administration doesn’t see its opponents as dissenters but as enemies, and if they can’t refute you, they try to lock you up,” he said.
“Normally these types of offenses are resolved with fines or community service. I and the American people will be watching closely to make sure that justice is done in the sentencing portion.”
In January, Molen’s response to D’Souza’s indictment also was blunt.
“When Dinesh D’Souza can be prosecuted for making a movie, every American should ask themselves one question: ‘What will I do to preserve the First Amendment?'” Molen, the producer of “2016: Obama’s America,” told WND at the time.
In addition to the 2012 campaign-rocking “2016,” D’Souza has an upcoming film called “America,” which imagines what the world would be like without the nation.
D’Souza’s “2016” was the No. 2 political documentary of all time, Molen noted, “and it obviously got the attention of our rulers.”
Federal authorities accused D’Souza of donating more than the legal requirement to the campaign of Republican Wendy Long, who lost the race for the Senate seat in New York.
The indictment charges D’Souza donated $20,000 to Long’s campaign by aggregating the money from various people and falsely reporting the source of the funds.
Molen told WND in January that the prosecution of D’Souza “is the equivalent of prosecuting a political dissident in the Soviet Union for jay-walking.”
“Yes, jaywalking in the Soviet Union is a crime, but it’s a minor crime. The real point is that you are a political dissenter and the government wants to put you away,” he said.
D’Souza’s plea on Tuesday came to a count of campaign contribution violations in which he had friends donate to Long’s campaign and then he reimbursed them. The individual contribution limit for the race was $5,000.
In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Richard Berman that lasted just under an hour, he admitted reimbursing the friends $10,000 in cash after they donated to Long’s challenge to Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a New York Democrat.
The plea bargain had been expected.
Berman scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 23 and told D’Souza to report to the probation office for a pre-sentencing review.
Court officials said the general range of sentencing for the count runs up to 24 months, although the judge has sentencing discretion.
In a statement released by attorney Benjamin Brafman, D’Souza said he was accepting responsibility for “having urged two close associates to make contributions” to the unsuccessful campaign and then reimbursing them.
The statement said because of the “technical nature” of the charges there was no “viable defense.”
Brafman’s statement said: “Mr. D’Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever. He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at worst, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”
Molen has charged the Obama administration’s Justice Department, which has been embroiled in numerous scandals and claims of illegal behavior on the part of appointed officials since Obama took office, “is engaging in a practice of ‘selective enforcement of the law’ where there is double standard such that if you oppose Obama politically, the IRS and the Department of Justice knock on your door, but if you’re a liberal who supports Obama, you can say anything you want.”
In the eyes of the Obama administration, Molen contended, D’Souza’s crime was to dare to produce a movie that could damage President Obama at the polls.
“This is not the America we grew up in,” Molen said at the time. “In the America I treasured, a president would go out of his way to protect those who disagreed with the president’s policy. That’s what the First Amendment is all about.”
See the newly released trailer for “America”: