D'Souza arraigned in federal court, Mills hopes truth surfaces soon
Lower Manhattan, New York—Dinesh D’Souza appeared in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman for his arraignment at 12 p.m. Friday. D'Souza entered a "not guilty" plea. Prior to the arraignment he surrendered his passport and was released on a $500,000 personal recognizance bond. D’Souza’s attorney said that he plans to travel at the beginning of next week. D’Souza is currently under pretrial supervision so he is required to alert pretrial services regarding his travel itinerary and each time he leaves Calif. or N.Y.
Carrie H. Cohen, Assistant Attorney for the United States, claimed that D’Souza allegedly gave two individuals, one of whom worked with him, $10,000 and directed them and their spouses to donate $5,000 each to the campaign of a United States senator, Wendy Long, in Aug. 2012. Cohen claimed that bank records show that D’Souza reimbursed them with cash the day of or day after the event.
Cohen reported that Long informed the government that D’Souza had lied to her about the donations. The prosecution will reveal their discovery next week and will produce witnesses and the straw donors.
D’Souza’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said that they had known for a few months that this investigation was underway. “It came as no surprise to Mr. D’Souza that he would be required to appear in court,” Brafman said.
Andy Mills, Chair of the Board of Trustees at King’s where D’Souza was formerly president, said that the relationship between the college and D’Souza ended back in Oct. 2012 so they have no additional information regarding the pending case. When asked as one who had a relationship with D’Souza how he felt upon hearing of this event Mills said, “Sadness. You want the truth to come out.”
The prosecution and defense scheduled a pretrial conference date of March 4 where they’ll determine the trial date. Brafman expects it to be a quick trial. “It’s beyond me that it would take more than three days,” Brafman said.