Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) allegedly spent campaign cash on affairs with five separate individuals, according to prosecutors who reportedly claim to have photographic evidence.
Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted last month on 60 charges related to the alleged misuse of $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses such as lavish vacations and dinners. The couple has pleaded not guilty.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is now reporting that the 47-page charging document alleges that the congressman had “personal relationships” with at least five individuals, none of whom are identified.
Hunter’s lawyer, Gregory Vega, objected to that part of the investigation in an August letter to the Justice Department, the paper reported.
Vega argued that prosecutors are pursuing criminal charges for conduct that falls into gray areas of civil election law.
“This is true even for personal indiscretions of the congressman that the prosecutors seem intent on charging,” Vega wrote. “The supposed reason given for including these details is that they reflect spending of campaign funds for extramarital infidelities and excessive drinking.”
Vega claimed that the prosecutors told him they had photos of Hunter’s alleged affairs. Even so, he said, the indiscretions didn’t rise to the level of a crime.
“While there may be evidence of infidelity, irresponsibility or alcohol dependence, once properly understood, the underlying facts do not equate to criminal activity,” Vega wrote.
Politico reported in February that Hunter was alleged to have had at least two affairs while in Washington, D.C., but he dismissed those rumors as “tabloid trash.”
The alleged affairs are the latest piece of evidence suggesting that Hunter may not be the family values candidate he claims to be on his website.
Hunter later told reporters to “leave my wife out of it.”
Hunter’s trial is scheduled for Nov. 24 ― 18 days after Election Day. Despite the criminal charges, the most recent poll by KGTV/Survey USA shows Hunter 8 percentage points ahead of his Democratic challenger, Ammar Campa-Najjar.