Prosecutors: Rep. Duncan Hunter used campaign funds to pursue affairs

Source: Politico | June 25, 2019 | Melanie Zanona, Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein

Federal prosecutors have accused Rep. Duncan Hunter of improperly using campaign funds to pursue numerous romantic affairs with congressional aides and lobbyists, according to a new court filing late Monday night.

The Justice Department alleged that Hunter (R-Calif.) and his wife Margaret Hunter illegally diverted $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use, including to fund lavish vacations and their children’s school tuition. Monday’s court filings also spell out allegations that Hunter routinely used campaign funds to pay for Ubers, bar tabs, hotel rooms and other expenses to fund at least five extramarital relationships.

“At trial, the United States will seek to admit evidence of defendant Duncan D. Hunter’s expenditure of campaign funds to pay for a host of personal expenses. Among these personal expenses were funds Hunter spent to pursue a series of intimate personal relationships,” the Justice Department said in a motion to admit evidence filed on Tuesday.

“This evidence is necessary to establish the personal nature of the expenditures to demonstrate Hunter’s knowledge and intent to break the law, and to establish his motive to embezzle from his campaign.”

Prosecutors said they approached the defense to reach an agreement “that would eliminate the need to introduce this potentially sensitive evidence at trial,” but the congressman’s lawyers declined.

Hunter’s wife has pleaded guilty and agreed earlier this month to cooperate with prosecutors. Prosecutors also filed motions to permit Margaret Hunter’s testimony to be used at trial, which is slated for September 10.

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