í2016: Obamaís Americaí Filmmaker Indicted for Violating Campaign Finance Laws
By Paul Bond | The Hollywood Reporter
Dinesh DíSouza is accused of giving too much money to a candidate who sought to replace former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Producer Gerald Molen tells The Hollywood Reporter the charges are politically motivated.
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh DíSouza, whose documentary 2016: Obamaís America took a critical look at President Barack Obama and was a surprise hit in 2012, will be arrested in New York on Friday for allegedly violating campaign-finance laws, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Federal authorities accuse DíSouza of donating more than is legal to the campaign of Wendy Long, who ran in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton but lost to now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Long, though, is not mentioned in an indictment obtained by THR on Thursday.
Insiders say DíSouza has been friends with Long since they attended Dartmouth College together in the early 1980s. According to the indictment, DíSouza donated $20,000 to Longís campaign by aggregating the money from various people and falsely reporting the source of the funds. But Gerald Molen, a co-producer of 2016, says the charge is politically motivated.
"In America, we have a long tradition of not doing what is commonly done in too many other countries -- criminalizing dissent through the selective enforcement of the law," Molen tells THR.
DíSouza first learned he was being investigated in the middle of 2013, several months after 2016 had earned $33 million at the box office and become the second-most-popular political documentary in U.S. history. The film included an interview with Obamaís half-brother, George Obama, who was mildly critical of the president.
Molen says DíSouza is being singled out for "an alleged minor violation" in the same way the IRS reportedly targeted conservative Tea Party groups for retribution. "In light of the recent events and the way the IRS has been used to stifle dissent, this arrest should send shivers down the spines of all freedom-loving Americans," Molen says.
Read the full article at: hollywoodreporter.com
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