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

Duncan Hunter and wife plead not guilty to campaign finance violation charges
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Embattled GOP Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 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."


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 TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration 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.