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

Hunter walking down a hallway.
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