California Republican Rep. Duncan D. Hunter & Wife Indicted on Corruption Charges

U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter of California speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Photo by Gage Skidmore

On Tuesday the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern District of California released their summary of indictments against U.S. Rep Duncan D. Hunter (CA-52, R) and his wife, Margaret E. Hunter.

The charges are: Conspiracy to Commit Offenses Against the United States; Wire Fraud; Falsification of Records; Prohibited Use of Campaign Contributions; Aiding and Abetting.

“SAN DIEGO – U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret E. Hunter, were indicted by a federal grand jury … on charges that they converted more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses and filed false campaign finance records with the Federal Election Commission.”

You can read the full indictment of United States vs Duncan Hunter here.

They are scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on Thursday, at 10:30 am, before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo.

Hunter was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 representing CA’s 52nd District until 2013. From 2013 – present he subsequently represented CA’s 50th District. Both districts cover much of the San Diego county. Hunter’s Committee assignments include, Committee on Armed Service; Committee on Education and the Workforce; and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

According to the press release, Hunter and his wife have been using campaign money to enrich themselves from the beginning, starting in 2009 up through and until 2016 and the SoCA District Attorney’s office began its criminal investigation into Hunter because of a series of watchdog articles by the San Diego Union-Tribune reporting and the FEC.

“The criminal investigation began in June of 2016, two months after the Federal Election Commission and the San Diego Union-Tribune questioned some of Hunter’s campaign expenses as potentially personal.”

For a list of San Diego Union Tribune articles on Hunter you can find those here, just scroll down to the bottom.

It wasn’t until March 2017 that The Daily Beast reported the news Hunter was being investigated by the DOJ starting in 2016 for ‘questionable campaign expenditures” after the House Ethics Committee announced they were putting their own investigation on complaints Hunter ‘misused’ funds to “let the DOJ take the lead.”

The indictment is 48-pages detailing allegations the Hunter’s spending spree for things like family vacations to Italy and Hawaii, dental work, theater tickets, and “domestic and international travel of almost a dozen relatives.”

It goes on to describe they allegedly then conspired to conceal their spending by “mischaracterizing” their purchases on Hunter’s FEC’s filings. Dental bills were labeled as “charitable donations to ‘Smile for Life’.” Theater tickets to see the show Riverdance at San Diego’s Civic Center became “San Diego Civic Center for Republican Women Federated/Fundraising.” To hide the fact they paid for their children’s private school tuition, the indictment alleges, the Hunter’s used ‘conflicting explanations, including that the payments were charitable contributions.”


Side Notes – Ironic Twists

In a bit of Ironic Twist, Hunter was one of the first two of U.S. Congressmen to publicly endorse Donald Trump. Chris Collins was the other. You can read about my TNB report on Chris Collins (NY-27, R) here … and his own indictment he’s facing as well.

In another bit of Ironic Twist, Duncan Hunter has been opposed to women serving in combat, claiming that, “Right now [the] draft is sexist.” Under President’s Obama’s second term he and the Pentagon made a policy change to allow women to serve in combat roles. Hunter was adamantly against it.

Hunter is the person who introduced the idea as an amendment to the House’s yearly NDAA to require women between 18-26 to have to register for the selective draft with the expectation that it would make people on both sides of the political isle shy away from the idea. Instead it backfired and the amendment passed the Armed Service Committee by a vote of 32-30. Hunter voted against his own amendment.

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