Campaign for Rep. Hunter Reports Spending at Liquor Store and Trump Hotel

Rep. Duncan Hunter at the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. U.S. Coast / Public Domain

Hunter is already facing criminal indictments for stealing campaign funds from 2009 to 2016.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the 2020 congressional campaign for Representative Duncan Hunter spent approximately $30,000 on lawyers and hundreds of dollars at the Trump International hotel in Washington D.C. The campaign also spent money at a liquor store on Hunter’s birthday.

The campaign disclosed $69,400 in disbursements to the Federal Election Commission this week. The campaign reportedly raised $92,599.

While Hunter runs for re-election to Congress, he and his wife, Margaret, continue to defend themselves against a federal criminal indictment for stealing over $250,000 in campaign funds from 2009 to 2016. The couple has pleaded not guilty to all 60 counts.

In the first three months of the year, Hunter’s campaign paid $29,900 in legal fees, which brings the total amount paid to legal bills by the campaign to at least $739,000.

The campaign paid $483 at the Trump International Hotel. The payment was listed as a “travel” expense. Harrison said it should not have been listed as travel as “it was for food expenses for mutual supporters of Congressman Hunter and President Trump that were in DC for the White House Christmas Party.”

The campaign also spent $2,600 at Alpine Tobacco Company. The payments came in three separate occasions. Harrison says the expenditures were “for events held at this location for campaign volunteers and supporters on both election night and an end-of-the-year thank you/Christmas party.”

The campaign reported $473 paid to Wilson Creek Winery for “volunteer thank you gifts” and $257 paid to Hayden’s Liquor Store for “food/beverage” on Hunter’s birthday. Hunter said the liquor store expenditure was “for food and beverage for a fund-raising event attended by supporters, including several members of Congress.”

The federal indictments against Hunter and Margaret detail many occasions on which Hunter seemed to have used campaign money to buy drinks for himself, his family, and his friends. After the indictment, Hunter resigned his committee assignments due to political pressure. Although he was elected for a sixth term in November, he is still blocked from committee memberships.

Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) ran against Hunter last year and lost. He will run against Hunter again in 2020.

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