Ryan removes GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter from committee assignments following indictment

Ryan removes GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter from committee assignments following indictment
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOcasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump MORE (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border Marine Corps tells Duncan Hunter to stop using official emblem, slogan for campaign Duncan Hunter, Democratic opponent seek money advantage ahead of 2020 rematch MORE (R-Calif.) will be removed from House committees after he was charged with misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.

"The charges against Rep. Hunter are deeply serious. The Ethics Committee deferred its investigation at the request of the Justice Department," Ryan said in a statement.

"Now that he has been indicted, Rep. Hunter will be removed from his committee assignments pending the resolution of this matter," he added.

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Hunter is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee.

The Department of Justice alleged in an indictment Tuesday against Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, that the GOP congressman used campaign funds to purchase trips to Italy and Hawaii, pay for his family's dental work, his children's tuition and international travel for nearly a dozen relatives.

He also allegedly spent thousands on "fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, video games, coffee, groceries, home utilities, and expensive meals."

The Justice Department said Hunter falsified campaign records filed to the Federal Election Commission to conceal the purchases.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSally Yates: Moral fiber of US being 'shredded by unapologetic racism' Al Green calls for additional security for House members after Trump rally #IStandWithPresTrump trends in response to #IStandWithIlhan MORE (D-Calif.) called on Hunter to resign over the charges.

Despite the indictment, Hunter will remain on the ballot in California's 50th Congressional District in November. A spokesman for the California secretary of state said in a statement to The Hill that there is no process to remove his name from the ballot.

Hunter will face a Democratic challenger, Ammar Campa-Najjar, in a district that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE won by 15 points in 2016.