California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret have been indicted for using campaign funds for personal expenses and trying to cover them up.
The five count indictment includes conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, falsification of records, prohibited use of campaign contributions, and aiding and abetting.
Hunter, a big supporter of President Donald Trump, is known in some communications circles for past legislation related to spectrum sharing and complaints about Cox's handling of Padres telecasts.
He is now better known to the Justice Department for what it said were a series of mischaracterizations of spending as campaign-related.
That included listing payments for family dental bills paid for with campaign funds "as a charitable contribution to 'Smiles for Life,'" and tickets to Riverdance at the San Diego Civic Theater as a “San Diego Civic Center for Republican Women Federated/Fundraising.”
“The indictment alleges that Congressman Hunter and his wife repeatedly dipped into campaign coffers as if they were personal bank accounts, and falsified FEC campaign finance reports to cover their tracks,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman of the indictments. “Elected representatives should jealously guard the public’s trust, not abuse their positions for personal gain. Today’s indictment is a reminder that no one is above the law.
The charges remain allegations unless and until they are proven in court. The couple will be arraigned Thursday (Aug. 23) as that process begins.
Hunter represents California's 50th district (comprising East and Northern San Diego). He was first elected in 2008.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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