Student: My question has to do with the
pardon. Here in the state of Wisconsin, we just got done with Republican leadership
in the state capital. Scott Walker, a Republican… During his time as
governor, he did not issue a single pardon. In fact, he never even put
together the committee to look at the pardons. The governor before him,
a Democrat, issued roughly 300 pardons. And now the new Democrat governor,
Tony Evers, is open to doing pardoning once again here in the state of
Wisconsin. In your opinion, as someone who has been pardoned,
do you agree with Scott Walker’s choice to not issue any pardons? Or do you
think maybe that should have been a power he should have utilized? D’Souza: I think that… It’s not a matter
of if I’m pro-pardon or anti-pardon. It’s more that the pardon has a purpose.
The purpose of the pardon really is… I mean, technically a pardon is to forgive.
“I’m pardoning you.” But the real meaning of a pardon is to rectify
an injustice. The original thing was wrong, we recognize that, and
we’re now using the president’s discretionary power to correct it. Now,
pardons are not often used that way. Remember when Bill Clinton
was pardoning Marc Rich? Marc Rich was guilty as hell, but
all kinds of money was flowing into the Clinton Foundation, so pardons can
become a racket, and some Republicans are allergic to them for that reason.
But the problem with the Republican approach is that it doesn’t recognize…
Take Trump. In my case with Trump, there was no calculation in my pardon
whatsoever, and I know this because Ted Cruz is the one who asked Trump.
So they were in the limousine together, and Ted Cruz goes, “Mr. President,
you really should consider pardoning Dinesh D’Souza.” Ted Cruz is
sitting in the back with John Kelly, and Trump leans over and says,
“Done.” Like that. [Audience laughter and applause] D’Souza: It took 30 days.
There’s a legal review and so on. But what I’m getting at is, I do not
believe that if it were Bush, if it were Romney… The first thing they would
do is have a strategy meeting, then they would maybe consult a
focus group to see how this might play. They’re all terrified of the media.
So I realized that, at the end of the day, for all his flaws, this kind of
straightforwardness that Trump represents? I think that it’s actually
morally healthier. Morally healthier. [Audience applause] D’Souza: I wouldn’t defend Trump’s
flaws, but I do think that he sees the pardon as rectifying injustices. And
when there are injustices to be rectified, the pardon should be used.
Student: Thank you. D’Souza: You’re welcome
[Audience applause] [Audience applause]