In stark contrast to the current Department of Justice (DOJ), the Obama Justice Department was run more as a political shop with Eric Holder serving more as a DNC Counsel. As even NPR stated:
Justice Department traditionalists grimaced when former Attorney General Eric Holder called himself President Obama's "wingman."
A prime example of how this politicization was more than words and ran throughout the Obama DOJ was the treatment of Dinesh D’Souza. As President Trump stated:
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
D’Souza illegally gave $20,000 to a college friend’s campaign for Senate, that she lost by 46 points. He is 100% guilty. He was also a major andfinancially successful critic of Obama and progressives. He should have been punished, but the punishment was completely over the top by an Obama DOJ that was trying to silence an Adminstration critic. Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz stated at the time:
The Justice Department's tactics remind Dershowitz of the words of Stalin's secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria, who said, "Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime."
"This is an outrageous prosecution and is certainly a misuse of resources," charged Dershowitz. "It raises the question of why he is being selected for prosecution among the many, many people who commit similar crimes.
"This sounds to me like it is coming from higher places. It is hard for me to believe this did not come out of Washington or at least get the approval of those in Washington."
Former FEC Commissioner David Mason added at the time:
Law enforcement experts tell Newsmax that if the FBI or another federal agency received a tip about a fraudulent act involving just $20,000, the government would likely show little interest in investigating. Mason notes that a violation of $20,000 in contributions is trivial compared to most cases.
"The violation involves a pretty small amount for this type of case," said Mason, who was an FEC commissioner from 1998 to 2008. When small amounts of campaign financing regularities are uncovered the matter is usually resolved at a low level.
The unprecentedented arrest makes even more sense when you realize the U.S. Attorney in charge of the case was Preet Bharara. The same U.S. Attorney who refused to leave his position after President Trump was elected:
A few days ahead of a resignation request from the Department of Justice — part of the routine housecleaning of political appointees that accompanies every administration changeover — Bharara set up a “personal” Twitter account, writing portentously: “Stay tuned . . . ” Then, on Saturday, he tweeted: “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”
Leave it to a Manhattanite to be a drama queen.
The replacement of the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys is standard procedure when a president from a different party takes the White House. Bill Clinton asked for the resignation of all but one U.S. attorney in March 1993 (unlike, Bharara, they complied); George W. Bush had replaced nearly every U.S. attorney by the end of his first year in office; Barack Obama swapped out Bush-era U.S. attorneys for his own — among whom was Bharara. This is not a scandal. Since the executive branch is tasked with enforcing the laws, and since every administration has different (sometimes radically different) enforcement priorities, each administration wants lawyers who will carry out its priorities. . . . The Constitution provides for this. And when an at-will employee refuses to give up his post, the White House obviously has no alternative but to can him.
Bharara was out for retribution against a critic of Obama and progressives to score political points. The political nature of Bharara's prosecution is clear from comparing similar cases. Take the higher profile candidate case involving Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards:
D'Souza's conviction was clearly political retribution. Compare attorney Pierce O'Donnell, who gave $26,000 in illegal contributions to 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and ended up facing only misdemeanor charges .
The judge rightly rejected Bharara’s efforts to get D’Souza a seven-year prision term but D’Souza was still confined to a halfway house. AsAndrew McCarthy concludes:
No matter what you think of D’Souza’s politics, his treatment was abusive.
President Trump’s pardon of Dinesh D’Souza is just.
D’Souza took it a step further to call it Karma:
KARMA IS A BITCH DEPT: @PreetBharara wanted to destroy a fellow Indian American to advance his career. Then he got fired & I got pardoned— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) May 31, 2018