Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Wife Indicted

CBS News reports:

Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, were indicted [Tuesday] by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of using $250,000 worth of campaign funds for personal use, as well as filing false reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Hunter, a Republican from California, is accused of using campaign finances inappropriately several times between 2009 and 2016. The funds were allegedly used for family vacations to locations such as Hawaii and Italy, as well as more mundane expenses such as dental work and school tuition. The Justice Department also alleges that the Hunters used tens of thousands of dollars for smaller expenses such as fast food and video games.

The 47 page Indictment is here. The investigation began into the Duncans began in 2016. It's the cover-up that got them: [More...]

Hunter obscured the real usage of the campaign expenses with false filings to the Federal Election Commission, according to the Justice Department.

Both Rep. and Mrs. Hunter are charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, falsification of records, prohibited use of campaign funds, and aiding and abetting.

Margaret Hunter claimed certain expenses were for "wounded warriors. This will not sit well with the public. The Indictment charges:

Hunter’s wife also concealed a number of improper campaign expenditures by saying they were for wounded veterans. In March 2015, Hunter spent campaign funds buying shorts for himself. According to the indictment, Margaret counseled him to buy the shorts at a golf pro shop so that they could falsely describe the purchase later as “some [golf] balls for the wounded warriors.”

In August of that same year, Margaret spent $216.50 of campaign funds on running shoes and other items at Dick’s Sporting Goods. To conceal the personal expenditure, she told the campaign treasurer that the purchase was for an annual dove hunting event involving wounded warriors.

Last month, Rep. Collins was indicted on insider trading. Both Hunter and Collins were early Trump supporters.

Paul Ryan said that Hunter has been removed from his committee assignments while the case is pending.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Using Wounded Warriors (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MKS on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 02:21:40 PM EST
    for cover. Not good. This wad supposed to be a reliably GOP.

    Duncan Couldn't Have Picked A Better Day (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 03:16:49 PM EST
    than yesterday to find himself in the news.

    Duncan Hunter should've never gone to DC. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 26, 2018 at 04:47:43 PM EST
    For a guy who already had a propensity for hard partying, Washington's siren calls proved a lethal seductress:

    "In Washington, D.C., Mr. Hunter was a fixture on the bar scene, and spent lavishly -- over $400 for 30 tequila shots at a bachelor party, and countless fancy dinners. He visited one of his favorite bars sometimes multiple times a day, piling up thousands of dollars in bar tabs. On occasion, he would get into loud arguments with patrons, once over the choice of music on the jukebox (he hated Celine Dion)."


    "The missteps began not long after he was elected to Congress, prosecutors now say. Mr. Hunter spent little time at home, preferring the high life of Washington to sedate suburbia, and when he did come home he spent a lot of time playing golf."


    "Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman from Southern California, defended Mr. Hunter in an interview, saying, 'I know Duncan Hunter as a heroic Marine and he's been a damn good congressman.' He said he was unsure how the allegations might impact the election, but said that Mr. Hunter is 'incredibly well respected by his constituents.'"

    The full-throated endorsement by Congressman Rohrabacher, who's himself under fire from his Orange County constituents and under federal scrutiny for his apparent Russian-coddling ways, isn't exactly helpful.

    The political question for November is exactly how blind an eye GOP-leaning voters in California are willing to turn toward the embarrassing shenanigans of Rohrbacher, Hunter and Devin Nunes. Recent polling shows that even in traditionally reliable Republican districts, the collective impact of all these scandals in Washington is clearly straining their constituents' loyalties.


    The more money ya got... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 01:56:14 PM EST
    the more sh&t you expect to get for free via accounting chicanery, I swear to god.  Sneakers from Dick's for an alleged dove hunt (who hunts doves?) with wounded warriors is particularly d*ckish though. Jeez Marge.

    My boss hasn't paid for a car, a cell phone bill, a ticket to the ball game or Broadway, an erotic dancer, or even a case of golf balls since he inherited the company...but even he ain't so cheap and greedy to try to expense his f*ckin' New Balances.  At least I hope he isn't...I'm privy, but not totally privy lol.

    We have a saying where I work..."owning a business is a license to steal".  Same holds true for holding elected office.  

    One thing I guess we gotta thank Trump and the Trumpers for is this new focus on white collar crime.  Draining the swamp...just not as
    orange-inally intended.  

    I am often surprised to learn (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 02:35:41 PM EST
    what some self-employed lawyers think it's ok to "charge to the office account." Or perhaps their idea of "ok" is "almost certainly won't get caught by the IRS." Nevertheless, I have gotten involved in the defense, after the fact (that is, at sentencing or on appeal), of criminal tax prosecutions that were premised on exactly that sort of misconduct a/k/a fraud.

    Dove hunting is big fun, (none / 0) (#4)
    by fishcamp on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 03:15:34 PM EST
    but I sure didn't do it in sneakers.  Doves live in the tall grass with the rattlesnakes out west.  Lotta snakes in the GOP.

    ...and them doves are tasty, too. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    CNN... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 03:33:19 PM EST
    has a greatest hits list of details in the indictment...some hysterical stuff in there.

    "Yessir all good!"

    A Christian (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 04:50:06 PM EST

    Talk about (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 07:55:28 PM EST
    your typical entitled Republican. I just read an article on CNN where the Hunters overdrew their bank account 1100 times and racked up 37K in over draft fees. They were behind on their children's school tuition and other bills too.

    My inference was that his wife had a (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 08:09:18 PM EST
    spending and/or self-image problem, of a psychologically diagnosable nature, that the Congressman was enabling and exacerbating, rather than confronting and dealing with. (Ok, I acknowledge I'm going outside my field here, and speculating on gut reaction without real evidnce.) And perhaps that he felt personally entitled, both.

    That may be (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 05:58:01 AM EST
    entirely likely but it doesn't explain them sending their kids to private school.

    My late mother-in-law had that problem. My father in law enabled it because confronting it I guess was worse than enabling it.


    Hunter is now blaming it all on his wife. (none / 0) (#25)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 24, 2018 at 08:47:51 AM EST
    She handles their finances, claims Duncan Hunter. He knew nothing about it. Nothing. Seriously, he knew nothing.

    He knew they were chronically overdrawn at the bank. He was told by his campaign manager that certain expenses could not be charged to the campaign. He tried to get the navy to arrange a tour of a naval base in Italy so that the Duncan's trip to Italy could be charged to the campaign.

    But Duncan Hunter knew nothing,

    What a guy.


    Now the "Lock Her Up!" chant... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 24, 2018 at 09:35:27 AM EST
    makes sense...all this time, Duncan & The Trumpets were talking about this insidious criminal mastermind Margie Hunter.

    Duncan is just following (none / 0) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 25, 2018 at 02:51:36 PM EST
    The Peyton Manning playbook.  

    You'd think they (and all pols) (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 11:28:03 AM EST
    would have learned from Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife's $750,000 "oopsie" misuse of campaign contributions...

    So happy I was re-districted. (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 11:49:01 AM EST
    A friend was pushed into Issa's (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 02:00:31 PM EST
    district.  She lives by UCSD campus.

    By "pushed" I gather you mean (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 02:32:28 PM EST
    she's not too pleased about it.

    Who's district was she in before?


    Scott Peters. (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 04:58:53 PM EST
    Issa is my guy. (none / 0) (#22)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 06:56:55 PM EST
    Just lovely.

    I think GOP knows the Dem Levin will take the seat.


    Why single out Jackson, Jr.? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 26, 2018 at 05:15:51 PM EST
    Corruption of its members is an issue which has long plagued Congress and state legislatures, and it's a problem which long predates the arrival of Jackson, Jr. and Hunter on the current scene. (see "FBI - ABSCAM.")

    Former California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham was only recently released from federal custody, having served a lengthy sentence in prison. When it comes to public corruption, the misdeeds are most assuredly bipartisan in their distribution. It simply becomes more noticeable to the general public when it's directly tied to the party that's currently in power.

    And in many respects, voters themselves are to blame. We often rationalize miscreant behavior when it comes to our own elected officials, and we'll march resolutely to the polls to return these rascals to the scene of the crime.

    For all his current issues, Duncan Hunter is still a heavy favorite in CA-47 for re-election, as were "Duke" Cunningham and Jesse Jackson, Jr. in their former respective congressional districts prior to their resignations and convictions.



    Well, gee, let's see, (2.00 / 1) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 27, 2018 at 11:53:28 AM EST
    maybe because Hunter is accused of misusing campaign funds, and Jackson, Jr. is the biggest recent pol, in both name and $ amount, to get busted for doing the exact same thing.

    Why would you protest against Jackson, Jr. being called out?


    How many (none / 0) (#11)
    by CST on Wed Aug 22, 2018 at 09:21:44 PM EST
    Ostrich jackets can you buy with $38,000 in overdraft fees?

    On the one hand, overdraft fees are certainly more relatable.   But $38,000...  Either severe hubris or a psychological issue.   Maybe both?

    Yeah, (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 05:59:22 AM EST
    that was kind of my point. The banks would have shut down yours and my account if we racked up that much in overdraft fees.

    I think you'rer wrong. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 08:33:27 AM EST
    Banks love customers like that. Big profit in overdraft fees. Before I took over managing my mother's finances, her bank in Texas was having a good ole time dinging her with fees for insufficient funds. In an account that had a direct deposit of barely $300 a month. They would pay her bad checks, then scald her with fees. I told them repeatedly to stop paying the checks, but there was more money for them in paying.

    Well, (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 02:45:49 PM EST
    all I can say is our bank shut down my son's account for way less than 37K in overdraft fees. And then when he reopened an account, they put money on hold for 3 months.

    As someone (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by CST on Fri Aug 24, 2018 at 08:44:23 AM EST
    Who experienced something similar when I was a broke college student...

    I bet the problem is your son didn't have the money to pay the overdraft fees in a timely manner.  If you get hit with 37k in overdraft fees and pay them off immediately every time, they're probably more than happy to let you keep overdrafting.

    If you, hypothetically of course, take out a bunch of money for groceries because you know you won't have any money for the next month and you don't know how else you're going to eat, and then just not put the money back...

    Yea they'll close your account and not let you open another one at pretty much any bank until you settle up.  Hypothetically...


    His wife (none / 0) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 24, 2018 at 08:45:08 AM EST