GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter Used Campaign Funds For Affairs With Lobbyists & Staffers, Court Filing Says
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) spent campaign funds on extramarital affairs with lobbyists and staff members stated California prosecutors in a court filing on Monday.
The filing, part of pre-trial proceedings for Hunter’s case, provide detailed information about affairs that Hunter had with five different women, including a member of his congressional staff. According to the filing, Hunter and the staffer “occasionally spent nights together at his office” and went on dates that were paid for using campaign funds. Hunter spent $202 in one night at a Washington, D.C. indoor mini golf bar on drinks and snacks, said the filing.
Prosecutors also described another affair between Hunter and a lobbyist, with the two of them meeting at a ski resort near Lake Tahoe in 2010, mostly funded using campaign donations. Hunter and the lobbyist also went on a “double date” with another couple that included a congressman, where Hunter spent $905 in campaign funds on a bar tab and hotel room.
Hunter has been plagued by scandal for over a year, beginning with his indictment for wire fraud, falsifying records and campaign finance violations. Despite the charges, Hunter won reelection in 2018 after a campaign marked by anti-Muslim themes. He courted controversy again last month when he passionately defended a Navy SEAL, Edward Gallagher, who is accused of war crimes such as targeting innocent civilians. Defending Gallagher’s decision to take pictures and conduct his re-initiation ceremony with the body of a teen prisoner he had just murdered, Hunter stated that he had taken photos with deceased enemy combatants while he was in the army and that it was a common action. He also claimed that his artillery troop “killed probably hundreds of civilians” unintentionally.
Hunter’s wife, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this month and is working with the prosecutors. The California prosecutors announced that the representative’s wife may testify against him in court later this year. Hunter’s trial is currently set for September.