Duncan Hunter's lawyers ask court to exclude evidence of alleged affairs

Duncan Hunter's lawyers ask court to exclude evidence of alleged affairs
© Greg Nash

Attorneys for Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterDuncan Hunter announces plan to resign The Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached House Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea MORE (R-Calif.), who has been indicted for campaign finance violations, asked the court to exclude allegations that he misused campaign funds during extramarital affairs, saying that his alleged relationships "often served an overtly political purpose."

Hunter's attorneys said in court Friday that the government was attempting to "publicly embarrass Mr. Hunter with evidence that reflects poorly on his character," and that the value of the evidence is outweighed by the risk it would unfairly prejudice the jury against him, according to a document published in full by USA Today

"The Court should deny the Motion and prevent the Government from distracting the jury with this salacious and prejudicial information," they wrote. 

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Lawyers also characterized the allegations as "a married man mixing business with pleasure" and did not appear to deny their veracity. They argued that because the relationships "often served an overtly political purpose," the spending the government has connected with the alleged relationships could be justified. 

"Unlike intimacy, the fact that an individual’s relationship with Mr. Hunter includes a professional aspect that directly, or indirectly, relates to his campaign or duties as a holder of Federal office, is directly relevant to whether Mr. Hunter could properly use campaign funds for an expense in connection with that individual," they wrote.

In a court filing on Monday, federal prosecutors requested permission to share with jurors new accusations that Hunter used campaign funds to cover expenses connected to affairs with five women. 

They said that the women were all "involved in politics in some manner" and that the new allegations were important “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.”

Hunter's wife, Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty to conspiring to misuse campaign cash earlier this month.