Following the announcement Thursday that conservative commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza has been charged with violating federal campaign finance laws, his allies are claiming that the move is evidence of a conspiracy by the Obama administration to silence its critics.
D'Souza has been a fixture in conservative media circles for years, and his laughable 2012 documentary 2016: Obama's America became a surprise critical success thanks in part to the support of his media allies. Reuters reports that D'Souza "has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate," allegedly reimbursing "people who he had directed to contribute $20,000" to the unnamed candidate (reportedly Wendy Long).
Matt Drudge tweeted that the indictments against D'Souza and former Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell are evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder is "unleashing the dogs" on "Obama critics."
In a panicked video headlined "Emergency: Obama Launches Purge" posted on his YouTube channel last night, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told viewers that "America is going over the edge," adding, "I actually am scared." According to Jones, the charges against former Gov. McDonnell are "trumped up garbage" (for what it's worth, conservatives like Byron York disagree, labeling the details "ugly, sordid, damning").
Pointing to the supposed persecution of D'Souza, Jones claimed that the administration is engaged in much worse behavior and warned, "The issue is here, they can find a mistake in your checking account and claim that it was fraud or wire fraud. They can do it to anybody." According to Jones, "this is like Nazi Germany" and "once they're done with these guys, they're coming after you and I."
The description posted on Jones' YouTube channel explains that this is an "Emergency Alert!!!," adding "This is it, we are in deep shit! If they get away with this they will come for all of us, that's how it works!!!" D'Souza has appeared on Jones' program to promote his movie.
On her radio show this morning, Fox contributor Laura Ingraham claimed that "we are criminalizing political dissent in the United States of America. Welcome to the Brave New World of retribution justice." Ingraham argued that D'Souza is one of the "most effective critics" of the Obama administration, and that the charges are "so transparent." The indictment "is more about stifling political dissent and intimidating other people from speaking out than it is about any real serious allegation of wrongdoing," per Ingraham. Ingraham is close friends with Wendy Long, and hosted a fundraiser for Long with D'Souza.
An article on FoxNews.com includes the suggestion from a "close colleague" of D'Souza's that the indictment is "selective prosecution" in the first sentence. The story is currently featured as the top story on the network's website:
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich tweeted:
Radio host and former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh saw a pattern with McDonnell's indictment and Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent troubles:
And conservative website Newsmax labeled the charges "Payback" in a banner headline on their homepage:
Rush Limbaugh joined the chorus on his radio show, claiming Obama's Justice Department is "trying to criminalize as many Republicans and conservatives as they can."
Meanwhile, Fox Nation is using Drudge's tweet and a few other articles on conservatives sites to ask readers to "sound off" on whether there is "A COORDINATED, VAST LEFT-WING CONSPIRACY."