Jun 25, 2019

Federal prosecutors accuse Rep. Duncan Hunter of using campaign funds to bankroll affairs

Rep. Duncan Hunter. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

In an ongoing saga, federal prosecutors accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of diverting campaign funds to finance extramarital affairs and other non-campaign activities, reports Politico.

Catch up quick: The Department of Justice claimed last year that Hunter and his wife funneled $250,000 in campaign funds toward personal endeavors, including school tuition for their children and vacations. Hunter's wife pleaded guilty to the misuses earlier this month and agreed to work with prosecutors, serving as a troubling sign for her husband's case.

A new court filing Monday night expanded on those accusations, stating that campaign donations were also used to pay for travel and dining expenses related to, at minimum, five affairs.

  • In detailed incidents, Hunter used funds to pay for a Virginia Beach hotel and bar tab for himself and a lobbyist, expensed the rideshare and cocktails from his date with an aide and used funds to pay for dates with one of his campaign staffers in 2015.

Details: Prosecutors say they believe Hunter misused the funds because he was short on his own, falling behind on payments and carrying debts he could not keep up with.

"Evidence of Hunter’s negative bank balances, overdue mortgage payments, credit card debts, and other aspects of their depleted financial condition is relevant to proving his motive, intent, knowledge, and absence of mistake in spending campaign funds for personal use."
— prosecutors wrote

What's next: Prosecutors will allow Hunter's wife's testimony in trial, and said that, "Several of the witnesses called by the United States will be close associates of Hunter who were or remain his friends, family members, employees, or colleagues." The trial is set for September 10.

Go deeper: The end of shame

Go deeper

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.