GOP Congressman, Wife Indicted on Campaign Finance Violations

Commons

Charged in a 60-count indictment for spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses while filing false campaign finance records, Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, pleaded not guilty Thursday in San Diego federal court.

A federal grand jury in California has indicted U.S. representative Duncan Hunter and his wife on corruption charges.

"By virtue of these delinquencies - as well as notifications of outstanding debts and overdue payments from their children's school, their family dentist, and other creditors - the Hunters knew that many of their desired purchases could only be made by using campaign funds", according to the federal indictment.

After the San Diego Union-Tribune and SEC began questioning some of Hunter's campaign expenses as potentially personal, a criminal investigation was launched in June 2016. "This is modern politics and modern media, mixed in with law enforcement that has a political agenda", he said.

Hunter, during a sweaty interview with Fox News, withstood limited poking and prodding from host Martha McCallum before he waved his white flag and effectively pinned the entire financial fiasco on his spouse.

"The Hunters spent substantially more than they earned", the indictment said.

The portrait of the Hunters created in the indictment is not of a rogue wife, refusing to heed her husband's call to change her ways.

He and Congressman Chris Collins, who was indicted earlier this month on charges of insider trading, were the first two members of Congress to endorse Mr Trump's candidacy.

In a televised interview Wednesday, Hunter, 41, said he's not anxious about the indictment and is eager to go to trial.

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Hunter did admit that he said "f**k the Navy" after his request for a tour of a naval base in Italy was turned down.

The congressman is said to have spent $1,000 on a "personal ski trip" to Lake Tahoe with another unnamed person.

"I'm getting a lot of support as you can imagine", he said.

After a fundraising fishing trip in Point Loma Wednesday, Hunter told FOX 5 that the charges against him were unfounded and politically motivated.

He brushed off Campa-Najjar's criticism of him, saying, "That's my socialist democratic opponent, that's what socialist democratic opponents say".

The Hunters are accused of conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., wire fraud, falsification of records and prohibited use of campaign contributions.

"Duncan-Hunter-at-a-glance">Hunter and his wife Margaret that alleges they illegally converted his campaign account into a household checkbook reorders his re-election contest, giving Democrats a suddenly stronger hand in a district that for decades has embraced Republican candidates.

Facing charges of spending hundreds of thousands in campaign funds on video games, groceries, and vacations, one of Donald Trump's first congressional backers blamed his own wife.

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