When Rep. Duncan Hunter was indicted for the crime of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for personal things like vacations and golf club memberships, he blamed it all on his wife’s profligate spending. Now it looks like he can blame it one of his many mistresses as well. Prosecutors say they have evidence that he spent some of that money on at least five women with whom he was having affairs.
he criminal indictment issued against Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, late last month alleges years of cavalier spending — luxury resorts, fine dining, tequila shots and more — all paid for with political contributions.
The 47-page document also says the five-term Republican from Alpine had “personal relationships” with five unnamed individuals. The federal indictment offers few details about the relationships, and Hunter’s lawyer objected to the turn the investigation took.
In an August letter to the Justice Department, defense attorney Gregory Vega argued that prosecutors are pursuing criminal charges for conduct that falls into gray areas of civil election law.“This is true even for personal indiscretions of the congressman that the prosecutors seem intent on charging,” Vega wrote. “The supposed reason given for including these details is that they reflect spending of campaign funds for extramarital infidelities and excessive drinking.”
According to Vega’s letter, prosecutors told the defense that they have pictures of indiscretions.
“While there may be evidence of infidelity, irresponsibility or alcohol dependence, once properly understood, the underlying facts do not equate to criminal activity,” Vega wrote.
Actually, they do, if he spent campaign funds on them. Hunter is still in a reelection fight in November. Will this hurt his chances of winning? If history is any guide, it won’t. Remember Scott DesJarlais? He’s a Republican congressman from Tennessee and a physician who lost his medical license because he had multiple affairs with patients, at least one of whom he pressured to have an abortion. And it turns out he and his wife had also had multiple abortions. Did I mentioned that DesJarlais is an anti-choice, “family values” politician? So is Hunter. DesJarlais won reelection even after all of that came out. Republican morality might as well not exist. It’s used only as a cudgel with which to beat liberals. When their own people do immoral things, the standards change completely.