Federal prosecutors have unveiled new allegations of campaign finance violations by Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterTrump denies Gaetz asked him for blanket pardon Gaetz, on the ropes, finds few friends in GOP Trust, transparency, and tithing is not enough to sustain democracy MORE (R-Calif.), claiming that the lawmaker improperly used campaign funds in the course of five different affairs with congressional staffers and lobbyists.
In a court filing made late Monday night, the Justice Department requested permission to share the new allegations with jurors during Hunter’s upcoming trial on alleged campaign finance violations.
The Justice Department said it was necessary to unveil the new allegations “to establish the personal nature of the expenditures" as well as to "to demonstrate Hunter’s knowledge and intent to break the law, and to establish his motive to embezzle from his campaign.”
In the 12 page-long document, federal prosecutors claim that Hunter repeatedly used campaign funds to cover expenses while he had extramarital affairs with five different women, all of whom “were involved in politics in some manner.”
“Evidence of the intimate, entirely personal quality of Hunter’s specific encounters with these women is essential to demonstrate that his spending to facilitate those encounters was improper,” the court filing reads. “At trial, the evidence will demonstrate that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pursue these romances wholly unrelated to either his congressional campaigns or his official duties as a member of Congress."
Hunter's office did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill. He has repeatedly denied the accusations against him, calling them politically motivated while blaming his wife for any campaign finance misconduct.
Hunter's wife, Margaret Hunter, earlier this month pleaded guilty to conspiring to misuse campaign funds. An attorney for Duncan Hunter has said his wife’s guilty plea will not impact his case.
The new Justice Department filing claims that during one alleged affair with a lobbyist in 2010, Hunter used campaign funds to rent a car, cover a $1,008 hotel tab, buy a $180 plane ticket back to D.C., and buy a single Sam Adams for $7 from a nearby “saloon,” while he stayed with one woman by Lake Tahoe.
Prosecutors also claim that Hunter and the woman went on a “double date” to Virginia Beach with another couple in March 2010, where he allegedly spent $905 in campaign funds for a hotel bar tab and room.
Later that month, the couple allegedly went on another double date to a Jack Ingram concert in Alexandria, Va., right outside of D.C., where he “spent $121 in campaign funds on beer, nachos, and wings.”
DOJ says that affair ended in April 2012, but that the congressman allegedly began a relationship with a staffer “of a member of the House of Representatives leadership.”
“Hunter often took an Uber to [the woman’s] home after work or evening events, which he typically paid for using campaign funds,” the filing reads.
According to the court document, Hunter also used campaign funds “to pursue this purely personal romantic relationship” with a lobbyist during an outing at the Old Hickory Golf Club, where he spent “$253 on greens fees for two, 10 beers, an Adidas shirt, and a visor” which he did not attempt to justify to his treasurer.
Hunter and his wife were first indicted in August 2018 after being charged with misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.
The California Republican faces accusations of using the campaign expenditures to purchase trips to Italy and Hawaii, cover international travel for nearly a dozen relatives, pay for his family's dental care and his children's tuition, according to the Department of Justice.
Hunter also allegedly falsified campaign records filed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to conceal purchases by mischaracterizing numerous expenses as "'campaign travel,' according to his indictment.
The California Republican was stripped of his committee assignments following the indictment.