Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter won his re-election to the U.S. House on Tuesday, his suburban San Diego voters seemingly unphased by the numerous federal charges he faces.
> Hunter, one of the two early Trump supporters to be charged with federal crimes this summer, defeated relatively unknown former Obama administration official Ammar Campa-Najjar in a race in which he slung racist accusations portraying his opponent as a “radical Muslim” with connections to terrorism.
> The 60-count indictment included allegations of conspiracy, wire fraud, falsification of records, along with the misuse of campaign contributions. Details from the indictment indicated Hunter had used the funds to facilitate extramarital affairs and to take vacations to Hawaii, London, and Las Vegas. The indictment also alleged he’d used campaign cash to buy video games, computers, and other technology, and that the couple had used the funds at hotels, the dentist, the movies, the grocery store, a golf course, the hair salon, and many bars.
> The two most inflammatory details involved his wife suggesting her husband buy shorts at a golf pro shop and list the purchase as golf balls “for the wounded warriors” and an instance in which Hunter tried to get a tour of a Navy base to cover for a $14,000 family vacation in Italy and, when he was told he could only do the tour on certain days, told his chief of staff to “tell the Navy to go fuck themselves.” The couple spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars on personal expenses.
One of the more odd expenses included in the mix was airfare travel for Hunter’s pet rabbit.
The San Diego Tribune reported in January of last year that the Republican lawmaker spent $600 in campaign funds for his rabbit to fly, but Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper said it was an innocent mistake.
> “(The office) has in their report $600 in campaign expenditures for in cabin rabbit transport fees,” Kasper said. “Since travel is often done on (airline) miles – which is entirely permissible – the credit card connected to the account was charged several times even when his children were flying.
> “This was nothing more than an oversight. In fact, it’s such an obvious example of a mistake being made but [the House Office of Congressional Ethics] wants to view it through a lens of possible intent,” Kasper said.