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Two prominent Indian Americans, representing two different political ideologies - Preet Bharara and Dinesh D'Souza - engaged in a bitter war of words on Twitter today after Mr. D'Souza was pardoned by President Donald Trump for violating federal campaign laws.

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I was just in my office working away and the operator came on the line and asked "Is this Dinesh D'Souza?' 'Yes.' 'Hold the line for the President of the United States" and there was Trump.

In 2014, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged D'Souza with using "straw donors" to contribute funds to Wendy Long, a Republican who ran for Senate in NY against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. The president explained that he believed D'Souza had been treated unfairly by the justice system.

But at his plea hearing in 2014, D'Souza said he knew he was breaking the law.

"In light of these facts, the President has determined that Mr. D'Souza is fully worthy of this pardon". That prosecution was led by one of Bharara's predecessors as US attorney, James B. Comey, who would go on to be Federal Bureau of Investigation director and also get fired by Trump.

It's also worth noting that Blagojevich appeared on Trump's "The Celebrity Apprentice" television show in 2010.

The U.S. Constitution gives the president the power to issue pardons, and Trump sometimes has used that authority to benefit convicted figures revered by some on the political right such as former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and Libby.

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The former Democratic governor was convicted on public corruption charges in 2011 and sentenced to a 14-year federal prison term.

Trump later shared his thoughts on Blagojevich and Stewart with the reporters accompanying him on Air Force One.

Trump also said he might commute the prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

D'Souza's 2010 book "The Roots of Obama's Rage" was made into a film, "2016: Obama's America", which was popular with conservative groups. If you've followed D'Souza's career you know that he's just the dullest kind of partisan hack-one without even the awful sense of humor or weirdly enraging anti-charisma of a Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. (The data did not include Trump's pardon of political commentator Dinesh D'Souza on Thursday). Conservative Republicans had sought a pardon for Libby for years.

Trump also spoke of Stewart, who was convicted in 2004 of obstruction of justice for lying about why she sold stock before its value plummeted.

Trump last week posthumously pardoned boxer Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight champion, who was jailed a century ago because of his relationship with a white woman.

Susan Hennessey, a fellow in national security in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, acknowledged on CNN that the president has unreviewable pardon authority.


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