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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump has pardoned Dinesh D'Souza, a convicted felon who has been a prominent conservative pundit and activist since the 1980s.

The big picture: D'Souza, who pled guilty in 2014 to violating campaign finance laws, served in the Reagan administration and worked at both the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution. He became prominent after publishing Illiberal Education in 1991, has written 16 books critiquing the liberal world-view, and gradually transitioned into film projects.

What Trump is pardoning: D'Souza was indicted in 2014 for violating campaign finance laws in Wendy Long's 2012 U.S. Senate race. He received 5 years of probation and 8 months in a supervised “community confinement center.”

Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Trump in 2017, said when announcing the indictment:

"Dinesh D'Souza attempted to illegally contribute over $10,000 to a Senate campaign, wilfully undermining the integrity of the campaign finance process... Like many others before him, of all political stripes, he has had to answer for this crime – here with a felony conviction."

Upon the announcement of Trump's intention to pardon D'Souza, Bharara tweeted:

"The President has the right to pardon but the facts are these: D'Souza intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct & the judge found no unfairness. The career prosecutors and agents did their job. Period."

D'Souza gained special notoriety on Twitter, including most recently for claiming the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting were grieving in a "politically orchestrated" way.

Among his most notorious tweets:

  • Wondering in 2017 if the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was "staged."
  • He suggested the mainstream media potentially covered up the Las Vegas gunman was an anti-Trump activist, although this does not appear to be true.
  • He has defended Hitler as "NOT anti-gay," despite sending gay people to death camps.
  • He has shared a meme that labeled former President Barack Obama a "gay Muslim" and Michelle Obama a man.

And from his books:

The trend on pardons: Trump has issued several pardons during his presidency, including for former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff “Scooter” Libby, former sheriff Joe Arpaio, and more recently, boxing champion Jack Johnson.

Go deeper: How Trump's pardon power works

Go deeper

Educators face fines, harassment over critical race theory

People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Elementary school teachers, administrators and college professors are facing fines, physical threats, and fear of firing because of an organized push from the right to remove classroom discussions of systemic racism.

Why it matters: Moves to ban critical race theory are raising free speech concerns amid an absence of consistent parameters about what teachings are in or out of bounds.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 10 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.