Rep. Duncan Hunter Responds To Allegations Of Campaign Corruption
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS
Pat Finn, producer, KPBS Midday Edition
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter is fighting back against allegations of campaign misspending. Along with his wife, Margaret, the congressman is accused of using more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and trying to cover it up.
A day after the indictment was announced, Hunter emphatically said, "Number one I’m going to have an election. I’m not resigning."
Hunter spoke with reporters in Point Loma on Wednesday after going on a fishing trip with wounded veterans.
"There’s a trial — this means nothing," he said. "And the indictment is all they (U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California) have. They only have what you’re now seeing, that’s it. I’ve done nothing wrong. I say bring the trial now."
Hunter and his wife were both indicted Tuesday on charges of wire fraud, falsification of records and prohibited use of campaign contributions among others.
"This is the U.S. government — what I would call the deep state," Hunter said. "Or folks in the U.S. government who don’t care what the election does, they want to rig the election in their own way."
Hunter is running for reelection this year. He said the U.S. Department of Justice is conspiring to flip the 50th congressional district from Republican to Democratic.
"Yes? Are you joking? The DOJ is politically motivated," Hunter said. "They’re going to slam this thing in right now — they could have done this in the last two years."
Hunter’s wife was also named in the indictment. The congressman said before becoming elected, he did not oversee his personal finances and instead relied on her to handle them.
"It’s my responsibility," Hunter said. "It’s my account and didn’t have enough personal visibility with my finances as I should have."
Despite the allegations, Hunter remains confident he will be elected again in November.
"We’re going to court," Hunter said. "And I’m going to win in court and win my election and we’ll see where we are."
Hunter has called the investigation into him by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California biased, as he said one of its prosecutors attended a Hilary Clinton event.
A spokeswoman for the Southern District of California said, "The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California and the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. reviewed and rejected Mr. Hunter’s complaints. The Secret Service requested the prosecutors’ attendance and routinely asks prosecutors to attend events involving their protectees.”
After an indictment alleging Hunter and his wife used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses the congressman said he would not resign and will fight the accusations.
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