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A Republican Congress Member Allegedly Spent Thousands In Campaign Funds To Cheat On His Wife

California Rep. Duncan Hunter "spent thousands of dollars treating women to meals, drinks, and vacations, and traveling to and from their homes," federal prosecutors said.

Posted on June 25, 2019, at 3:17 p.m. ET

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Republican California Rep. Duncan Hunter, who has been indicted for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 worth of campaign funds for personal gain, is now being accused by federal prosecutors of using the funds to have a whole bunch of extramarital affairs.

From January 2009, shortly after he assumed office, until September 2016, Hunter allegedly had at least five affairs in which he misused his campaign funds.

In new court filings that came out Monday, prosecutors said Hunter spent the campaign money on weekend getaways, date nights, golf outings, bar tabs, and Uber rides during these affairs.

"Carrying out all these affairs did not come cheap — Hunter spent thousands of dollars treating women to meals, drinks, and vacations, and traveling to and from their homes," federal prosecutors wrote.

His wife — the also-indicted Margaret Hunter — flipped earlier this month, changing her plea from not guilty to guilty and admitting in court that she and her husband used the funds "as their personal bank account," including on a $10,000 trip to Italy and plane tickets for their pet rabbit, Eggburt.

She pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, for which there is a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and may also be required to help in the investigation of her husband and any others involved in her crimes.

Denis Poroy / AP

Margaret Hunter

Hunter's alleged affairs were with a number of unnamed lobbyists and congressional aides, including one who worked in his own office.

During the first one, which "blossomed beyond a mere friendship" just months after he entered office, according to court filings, Hunter took a lobbyist on a ski trip to Reno, racking up a $1,008 hotel tab. He allegedly spent the money on airfare, room service, and a $7 Sam Adams beer at the resort bar.

In March 2010, the two reportedly went on a "double date" road trip to Virginia Beach with another unnamed Congress member, where Hunter spent $905 on a hotel bar tab, and $121 on beer, wings, and nachos at a concert. In June 2011, he allegedly spent $253 for the two of them to go golfing, buying an Adidas shirt, a visor, and 10 beers there.

Hunter and the unnamed lobbyist broke up in April 2012, and the following August while at the Republican National Convention he allegedly got together with a woman who worked as a congressional aide in another office. He stayed over with her "nearly every night" as their relationship developed, using campaign funds to take Ubers there. He also spent the money on dinner and drinks with her.

In January 2015, another unnamed woman began working in Hunter's office, and the two soon became intimate, sometimes spending nights together in the office. Hunter spent several hundred dollars on a "triple date" with the staffer and two other couples, as well as a pizza dinner with her and his visiting teenage relative.

The following October, he met up with a lobbyist who had organized events and fundraisers for Hunter in the past.

“That night, however, was not about business," prosecutors wrote. "At around 11:00 pm, Hunter and I-17 departed the Hamilton together for her home, where they engaged in intimate personal activities unrelated to Hunter’s congressional campaign or duties as a member of Congress.“

Last but not least, Hunter "engaged in intimate personal activities unrelated to Hunter’s congressional campaign or duties as a member of Congress" with another lobbyist in September 2016, according to officials, spending campaign money on Ubers in the process.

Following Margaret Hunter's plea change, Duncan Hunter's lawyer, Gregory Vega, said in court that her guilty plea does not "change anything" in his case, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“At this time, that does not change anything regarding Congressman Hunter,” Vega said. “There are still significant motions that need to be litigated.”

Vega and a congressional spokesperson for Hunter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Last year, the representative seemed to blame his wife for mishandling campaign funds.

“She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure,” he told Fox News. “But I didn’t do it. I didn’t spend any money illegally.”

According to Hunter’s website, he’s a staunch believer in “family values” who supported the Defense of Marriage Act, “which defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman.” That act was overturned in 2013 by the Supreme Court.

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