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Rep. Duncan Hunter, Wife Plead Not Guilty To Campaign Finance Corruption Charges

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August 23, 2018 1:52 p.m.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, Wife Plead Not Guilty To Campaign Finance Corruption Charges


Jade Hindmon, reporter, KPBS News

Related Story: Rep. Duncan Hunter, Wife Plead Not Guilty To Campaign Finance Corruption Charges


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Our top story on Midday edition Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret each pleaded not guilty today to charges of spending campaign funds for personal use. The indictment issued Tuesday Conté contains 60 counts of campaign finance crimes conspiracy to commit wire fraud and filing false campaign accounting reports CBS reporter Jane Heineman was in San Diego federal court for today's arraignment. And Jade welcome. Good afternoon Maureen. What was the scene like inside the Federal Court today.

It was a crowded courtroom. Both the defense and the prosecution were in there Duncan Hunter and his attorneys arrived first his wife shortly thereafter as his wife arrived.

He stood out to greet the attorneys and his wife. She walked right past him and took a seat several seats down. Was there a bail issued.

There was Braille issued there. Did the attorneys argued that the hunters.

Live paycheck to paycheck and so they argued for a low bond. So Duncan Hunter was given fifteen thousand dollars. His wife Margaret was given ten thousand dollars as conditions of that they are restricted to travel in just the United States. They have to stay employed full time. Not violate state and local laws. And Duncan has to turn in his firearms by Monday.

Jade you mentioned that there was a certain amount of tension it seemed to be between the congressman and his wife during this arraignment. Can you tell us more about that.

There did seem to be some tension. He stood up to greet to greet her and the attorneys as they walked in. He shook her attorneys hand and as she you know just walked right past him and he tried to sort of pat her on the back. She continued to walk right past and took a seat several seats down. It was just sort of a stone cold look from the body language. The two were not happy.

Did the congressman have anything to say after the hearing.

He did not. He came straight outside of the courtroom and off into his vehicle he and his wife both arrived separately and they both left separately.

Now I understand there's a protest going on outside of the federal courthouse. Tell us about that.

There is a visible showed up in San Diego County and divisible a group of protesters who are are protesting corruption and who want to see Duncan Hunter out of office. They showed up and chanted vote him out. And also a campaign ajar showed up as well to address the cameras that were out there. He is calling for more pride to be brought back to the 15th Congressional District and obviously vying for the seat. So there were about 100 or so protesters out there with signs all chanting for Duncan Hunter to step down.

And of course Mark having ajar the Democratic challenger in the 15th District to Congressman Duncan Hunter. Was there any sign anything said by anyone after this hearing today.

The attorney did step up to the microphones to speak. The attorney for Duncan Hunter he said you know he pretty much just repeated what they've been saying all along which is that this is a witch hunt and that Duncan Hunter will have his day in court and when is the next court date. The next court date is set for September 4th and that will be for a motion hearing.

And I've been speaking with KPBS reporter Jade Heidemann live in downtown San Diego. Jade thank you.

Thank you Maureen.