Republican congressman Duncan Hunter has long defended the sanctity of marriage as being between a man and a woman. He’s always been concerned with upholding family values in his politics.
So, it’s extra delicious to hear he’s been accused by the Justice Department of using his campaign funds to carry out illicit romantic affairs with congressional aides and lobbyists!
According to a new court filing late Monday night, Hunter and his wife Margaret Hunter allegedly diverted $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use, including paying for lavish vacations and their children’s school tuition.
On top of that, Hunter had private expenses of his own. According to feds, the California congressman allegedly routinely used campaign funds to pay for Ubers, bar tabs, hotel rooms, and other expenses to financially support at least five extramarital relationships!
In a motion to admit evidence filed on Tuesday, the Justice Department said:
“At trial, the United States will seek to admit evidence of defendant Duncan D. Hunter’s expenditure of campaign funds to pay for a host of personal expenses. Among these personal expenses were funds Hunter spent to pursue a series of intimate personal relationships. This evidence is necessary to establish the personal nature of the expenditures to demonstrate Hunter’s knowledge and intent to break the law, and to establish his motive to embezzle from his campaign.”
What a mess!
Apparently, Hunter is ready and willing to make this a bigger mess in court. Prosecutors said they approached the defense to reach an agreement “that would eliminate the need to introduce this potentially sensitive evidence at trial,” but Hunter’s lawyers declined.
The congressman’s wife, on the other hand, pled guilty earlier this month and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. (We’re sure those Uber receipts had something to do with it…) Her testimony is expected to be used at trial, which is slated for September 10.
Hunter, meanwhile, is accusing prosecutors of political bias. He told Politico:
“You have criminally political prosecutors in this case on a personal smear campaign. This is the most political case in the world.”
The congressman is expected to argue in court his use of campaign funds is normal among members of Congress — but the DoJ prepared for that, too, by filing a motion to exclude any evidence of Hunter’s good behavior, including his military service.
The filing describes several instances in which Hunter allegedly used campaign funds to financially support his affairs. In 2010, he allegedly took a lobbyist on a “double date” road trip to Virginia Beach with a fellow congressman and then charged his campaign for the hotel room and bar tab.
As for his personal finances, prosecutors alleged Hunter and his wife were so far in debt that they had less than $1,000 in their bank account from 2009 to 2017, and owed money to stores like Macy’s and Home Depot.
Claiming the couple started falling behind on their children’s tuition and missed multiple mortgage payments, prosecutors wrote:
“Evidence of Hunter’s negative bank balances, overdue mortgage payments, credit card debts, and other aspects of their depleted financial condition is relevant to proving his motive, intent, knowledge, and absence of mistake in spending campaign funds for personal use. It explains why he himself used campaign funds to buy everything from cigarettes to gadgets to groceries to getaways — things he wanted but could not afford to buy with his own money.”
The filing comes after Hunter’s legal team asked for the case to be dismissed, on the grounds prosecutors were only after him because they’re politically biased.
Hunter had also previously attacked prosecutors as leading a “witch hunt.”
We wonder who he heard that from…
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