Early Trump-backing Republican congressman Duncan D. Hunter [R-Cal], has been indicted with his wife for ‘spending $250,000 of campaign funds on vacations, golf trips and an airline ticket for his rabbit’
Hunter, 41, like Trump has branded revelation of his long accumulating campaign finance transgressions a politically motivated ‘Witch Hunt’
Over seven years Hunter and his wife Margaret allegedly used more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for groceries,school tuition, golf trips and overseas vacations, prosecutors say
He allegedly hid the misuse, between 2009 and 2016, by falsifying records
Addressing the media on Thursday, the staunch Trump supporter struck back, describing the allegations as plot to win the upcoming mid-term by the ‘deep state’, through the backdoor
He sees the timing of the indictment as politically motivated and accused prosecutors of being partisan
He then goes on to attack the media for printing ‘salacious and misleading headlines’ about him, before adding that he has remained silent so he can keep helping voters.
After bringing up Clinton he turns his sights on prosecutors, writing: ‘Three prosecutors, two of which are directly involved this case, attended a fundraising event at a private home in La Jolla in 2015, one of which was the individual who signed the indictment.
‘We know these individuals attended this event from 9:00-12:00 noon during working hours. We are told that this was at the request of Secret Service to officially assist law enforcement with protection, but this explanation is disputed by former U.S. Attorneys familiar with the responsibilities of their office.
‘The obvious question is why would the Secret Service need three prosecutors at a fundraising event? The answer is they are partisan prosecutors.
‘My constituents are not easily misled. I know they can recognize a political agenda when they see it and they can disregard empty rhetoric when they hear it.
‘I fought for our nation against terrorists in the Marine Corps. I fight for my constituents in the halls of Congress.
‘I will fight this in the same manner and with the same level of determination because I believe in what I am fighting for and still have faith that evidence and the rule of law will trump political agendas and bias.’
On Wednesday Hunter and his wife were named in a 48-page indictment filed in San Diego federal court on Tuesday. The indictment alleges the money was taken between 2009 and 2016, adding that the couple concealed the misuse by falsifying campaign finance records, claiming the expenses were campaign-related.
Hunter, 41, an early supporter of President Donald Trump, won a fifth term in 2016 representing a heavily Republican San Diego-area district. His father represented the area for many years in Congress.
Entitled: Hunter would rather prosecutors left his crimes alone so he can get on with his re-election activities
The House Ethics panel had investigated allegations that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, such as trips to Hawaii and Italy and tuition for Hunter’s children.
The panel said in March that it was delaying the inquiry at the request of the Justice Department.
Hunter and his wife reportedly had overdrawn their bank account 1,100 times during the period, and paid over $27,000 in overdraft fees. The congressman however, maintains he has settled the issue after repaying his campaign about $60,000.
On the vexing expenditure on a pet rabbit, Hunter’s office said at the time that one of the charges he repaid was a $600 fee for flying a pet bunny with his family.
There was no intent to stick donors with the cost’, Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper said at the time.
Pointing to the rabbit expense as an example of overreach by the congressional ethics office, Kasper told AP that the congressman used airline miles to pay for his family’s travel and there was an assumption that bringing along the rabbit would not incur an extra charge.
Subsequently, Hunter found out his campaign had paid for the rabbit’s transport. He then paid back the money as part of more than $60,000 in other questionable charges, Kasper said.