California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter & Wife Indicted For Improperly Using $250,000 In Campaign Funds [Full Indictment Text]
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife for illegally using approximately $250,000 in campaign funds.
Hunter was also charged with wire fraud and filing fraudulent campaign reports.
The 41-year-old congressman and his wife Margaret Hunter reportedly used campaign funds to pay for a series of personal expenses like clothing, their children’s education, family vacations and dental bills. According to the indictment, the couple allegedly overdrew their joint bank checking account more than 1,000 times from 2009 to 2016. This resulted in over $37,000 in overdraft charges. The Hunters also maxed out their credit cards. This all led to an investigation of the couple, who also reportedly mislabeled certain personal expenses and hid the nature of many of these expenditures by declining to provide the campaign treasurer with financial statements and receipts.
Duncan Hunter was one of the first legislators to publicly voice his support for President Donald Trump during the 2016 election. Hunter is running for re-election in California’s 50th District this year, so his seat in Congress now appears at risk due to this indictment.
Hunter’s lawyer Gregory Vega asserted Tuesday that the indictment of the congressman was politically motivated. Vega cited the fact that two of the prosecutors working on his client’s case were seen at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in August 2015.
Hunter is a former U.S. Marine who also serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Running against him this fall is Ammar Campa Najjar, a former Labor Department official and small business owner who is a progressive Democrat. The California Secretary of State’s office stated there is no way to replace Hunter with another GOP candidate on the ballot for November’s midterm elections unless Hunter died before Aug. 31. California law also prohibits writing in candidates.
Campa Najjar tweeted the following video on Wednesday about Hunter’s indictment:
Now’s the time to put country over party. To explore unity, not exploit division. And fight against corruption.
As one voter said, “we don’t need a Hunter, we need a gatherer.” pic.twitter.com/xXKsk0VoBB
— Ammar Campa (@ACampaNajjar) August 22, 2018
In May, Hunter appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and said he agreed with the belief held by Trump and many hardline Republicans that many illegal immigrants have voted in recent elections, and claimed that illegal voter registration was an especially big issue in his home state. Hunter added that he conceded that Trump probably didn’t have “his numbers right” when he said millions of migrants voted illegally in 2016, although he still managed to draw several boos and groans from the audience.