[h/t to NCMountainGirl for this update]
After it was discovered in March 2017 through the ethics committee in the House that California’s US Rep Duncan Hunter (CA-50, R) was under a DOJ criminal investigation, in August 27, 2018 we reported the story that Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, were both indicted on 60 charges including conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States; wire fraud; falsification of records; aiding and betting; campaign finance violations; and conspiracy.
You can read the full indictment of United States vs Duncan Hunter here.
Meanwhile, after both entering not guilty pleas and both posting a $15,000 bonds, while Hunter points the finger at his wife, Hunter is also in the middle of a nasty reelection campaign against Democrat challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar, including charging his opponent in campaign ads with insinuations that Campa-Najjar “is working to infiltrate Congress.”
Hunter won his reelection in November 2018 and his trial date was set for later this year on September 10, 2019.
Now Ammar Campa-Najjar plans to seek a rematch in 2020.
On Thursday the Roll Call, via the Times of San Diego, reported that Campa-Najjar exchanged barbs after Hunter posted himself in a video in a Border Patrol ride-along showing his viewers how easy it is to cross the US-Mexico border in Yuma, AZ by hoping a barrier in a bid for Trump’s proposed border wall.
“It looks pretty tough to cross. Let me see if I can do it.”
“He swings his legs over a horizontal rail less than waist high and declares: “There you go. That’s how easy it is to cross the border in Yuma, Arizona.””
According to Hunter’s bond release it forbids him from traveling outside the continental United States or travel to Mexico.
Only he didn’t. The actual U.S.-Mexico border is the Colorado River 75-100 feet away, said a Border Patrol spokesman.
In any case, Hunter’s Facebook clip caught the eye of Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democrat making a second run against the indicted Republican in the 50th Congressional District.
Thursday, Campa-Najjar sent Times of San Diego email with the subject line: “Hunter breaks the law violates parol,” meaning parole.
And in a phone interview, Campa-Najjar argued that Hunter “literally said: I just crossed the border.”Times of San Diego
Michael Harrison, Hunter’s spokesman, called the leaving-the-U.S. accusation a “non-issue typical of someone desperate for a headline as opposed to focusing on the real issue” of border security.
“I would encourage others to look and review a map, spend time with the Border Patrol and understand what structures are in place and where they are with regards to the international border,” Harrison said via email.
Harrison added in another email that “the Border Patrol wanted to congressional delegation to see that area, since “there is nothing else there.”
Border Patrol spokesman confirmed the tour in a phone call to Times of San Diego,
“What [Hunter] crossed was a vehicle barrier,” said Dulesky, who helped lead the Wednesday night tour. “That is approximately 75-100 feet from the border — the border is actually the river that’s west of that.”
He said 10 years ago, border agents were having trouble with “drive-throughs,” so vehicle barriers were installed.
“It has now become a hot spot because that’s now where the majority of the pedestrian traffic is coming through because obviously it’s easier to transverse,” he said.
“But it’s not the boundary between Mexico and the U.S. — that’s another 75 feet west of that actual area.”
After being informed of Hunter’s spokesman’s response, Campa-Najjar said, “Hunter’s own words: ‘Mexico is 15 meters from here’ then he … walked 15 meters and crossed the border. His own words.”
“Hunter either broke the law and violated conditions of his release, or was pulling a political stunt, Campa-Najjar said.”
[I]n a final email: “Can Hunter’s spokesperson please show Hunter a map? He was the one who falsely advertised he was 15 meters from Mexico. He also needs to be shown the Colorado River, which is a secondary barrier he’d need to cross to actually get to Mexico.
“As Trump says, we don’t need a wall from sea to shining sea.”