Dinesh D’Souza says not guilty of U.S. election law violations

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) – Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges that he used straw donors to exceed campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate candidate in 2012. The candidate, Wendy Long, had unsuccessfully sought the Senate seat of Democratic Kirsten Gillibrand in New York. D’Souza’s defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, suggested in New York federal court that the conduct described in D’Souza’s indictment does not rise to the level of a crime. “I don’t think there’s much dispute as to what happened, but why it happened and whether it violated federal election law.” He said he had tried to convince the government not to press charges but was ultimately rebuffed.

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