CALIFORNIA 50 (R -- HUNTER) | CA-50

Hunter, Wife Indicted on Charges of Misusing Campaign Funds

He will likely remain on the ballot and there is no possibility of a write-in campaign.

Aug. 22, 2018, 9:46 a.m.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) “and his wife, Margaret, routinely -- and illegally -- used campaign funds to pay personal bills big and small, from luxury vacations to kids' school lunches and delinquent family dentistry bills, according to a stinging 47-page indictment unsealed Tuesday. The charges of wire fraud, falsifying records, campaign finance violations and conspiracy were the culmination of a Department of Justice investigation that has stretched for more than a year, during which” Hunter “has maintained his innocence. … The detailed indictment portrays the Hunters as living well beyond their means and said they ‘knowingly conspired with each other’ to convert campaign funds to personal use.”

“The Justice Department said the Hunters are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning in federal court in San Diego. A spokesperson for Duncan Hunter said the congressman believes the indictment against him and his wife is ‘purely politically motivated.’ … At this late juncture, there is no possibility of a write-in campaign. Only Hunter and” activist Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) “will appear on the November ballot.”

NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers "said in a statement, 'These are troubling charges leveled against Congressman Hunter. I trust our judicial system and eagerly await more facts surrounding the case.'" (CNN) The San Diego-area district leans Republican and backed President Trump by 15 points.

Speaker Paul Ryan “announced Tuesday night that he has removed … Hunter from the three House committees he serves on. … Hunter will be at least temporarily stripped of his assignments to the House Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Education and the Workforce Committees.” (Roll Call)

DEMOCRATIC REACTION.

Campa-Najjar: "Today’s indictment confirms just how deep this corruption can reach when someone like Duncan Hunter Jr. is in it for himself instead of representing the people. Now is the time to put country over party and rise against this corruption and rise above the divisive politics. Together, we can bring real change and fresh thinking to represent the people of CA-50." (release)

DCCC Spokeswoman Meredith Kelly: “From flying his pet rabbit across the country to a six figure bar tab it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Duncan Hunter’s time living large off his campaign donors has ended in an indictment. Hunter’s misuse of $250,000 worth of campaign funds for personal expenses and the filing of false campaign finance records is emblematic of the corruption and twisted priorities of today's Republican Party." (release)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Once again, one of President Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress has broken the public trust and abused his position to enrich himself and his family. Speaker Ryan must immediately call on Congressman Hunter to resign, and affirm that no one is above the law." (release)

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