Duncan Hunter and wife plead not guilty to campaign finance violation charges

Duncan Hunter and wife plead not guilty to campaign finance violation charges
© Getty Images

Embattled GOP Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterIndicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency Indicted GOP lawmaker to stay on ballot in New York this fall: report MORE (Calif.) and his wife, Margaret Hunter, were arraigned on Thursday morning in California after being indicted earlier this week for allegedly misusing $250,000 in campaign funds.

Both Hunters pleaded not guilty to the 60 counts against them.

The California Republican's bail was set at $15,000, while his wife's was set at $10,000. Duncan Hunter was also ordered to relinquish his guns by Monday, ABC 10 News reported.

Hunter's next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Hunter was greeted by a handful of protestors as he entered the federal court in San Diego, including a group that chanted "lock him up."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Hunters are being accused of falsifying campaign finance reports and using 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. Thousands of dollars were also allegedly spent on "fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, video games, coffee, groceries, home utilities, and expensive meals," according to the Justice Department.

Hunter — one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE's earliest supporters in Congress — maintains his innocence, arguing he is a victim of a politically motivated "witch hunt."

"For over two years, I have made myself available to cooperate with this investigation in any manner. To date, I have not been asked one time to answer any questions or address any issue. I have not had one opportunity to present my side of anything in this investigation or to counter any allegations against me," Hunter said in a statement Wednesday.

"All the while, there has been a constant barrage of misinformation and salacious headlines in our media regarding this matter. I purposely choose to remain silent, not to feed into this witch-hunt and trust the process."

Hunter's legal team questioned the timing of the indictment, noting his name cannot be taken off the ballot in the November midterm elections.

Shortly after Tuesday's indictment was released, Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, shifted his seat's rating from safe to competitive.