Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who appeared to lay the blame on his wife last week after being accused of misusing campaign funds, now says he wants people to leave her alone about it.
Hunter and his wife, Margaret, are facing 60 charges related to the alleged misuse of $250,000 in campaign funds, including paying for personal expenses such as lavish vacations and dinners. The couple pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday.
Hunter, who is running for re-election and is leading in polls, has dismissed the charges as a political “witch hunt.” The congressman told KGTV in San Diego on Tuesday that he wanted to protect his wife.
“Leave my wife out of it, leave my family out of it,” Hunter said. “It’s me they’re after anyway. They’re not after my wife; they want to take me down, that’s what they’re up to. So let’s get this in the arena and have this settled.”
Just days before he demanded to keep his wife “out of it,” Hunter seemed to throw the blame onto his wife. On Fox News on Thursday, Hunter denied that he personally committed any wrongdoing and said his wife handled his family’s finances and campaign.
“I’m saying when I went to Iraq in 2003, the first time, I gave her power of attorney and she handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got into Congress. Because I’m gone five days a week, I’m home for two,” Hunter said on Fox News.
Hunter also said he was sure prosecutors would look into “whatever she did.”
The congressman’s interview with Fox News can be watched below.