Ex-GOP lawmaker pardoned by Trump agrees to pay fines for misuse of campaign funds

Greg Nash

Former California Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), who resigned from office in 2020 after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, has agreed with federal election regulators to pay fines for his misuse of campaign funds.

A Federal Election Commission (FEC) document signed by Hunter and recently made public shows the former lawmaker will pay a civil penalty of $12,000.

Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, who was her husband’s campaign manager, were indicted in 2018 on charges of misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds. The couple used the money to travel to Europe and Hawaii and purchase fast food and video games, among other things, according to the indictment.

The Hunters misused the funds from 2010 to at least 2016, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). During that time, the couple used hundreds of thousands of dollars “as their personal piggy bank” while they were “drowning in debt,” the department said in a press release.

Hunter, who began representing California in Congress in 2009, pled guilty to the violations in December 2019, resigned at the beginning of 2020 and was later sentenced to 11 months in prison. His wife was sentenced to eight months of home confinement.

Former President Donald Trump pardoned the ex-lawmaker in December 2020.

Hunter’s campaign committee also agreed to pay a $4,000 civil penalty, according to a December document from the FEC.

The FEC noted that it typically would have sought “a substantially higher civil penalty of $133,000” for the violations.

“However, the Commission is taking into account the fact that the Committee has demonstrated a lack of financial resources and the inability to raise additional funds,” the FEC said.

Tags California Campaign violations Donald Trump Duncan Hunter Duncan Hunter Duncan Hunter FEC Federal Election Commission Federal Election Commission Margaret Hunter

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