Politics

Duncan Hunter Sr. Defends Son: ‘Political Late Hit’

Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted for using campaign cash for personal use

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is facing a criminal indictment for misuse of campaign cash. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)   

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s father defended his son amid his indictment for using campaign cash for personal use.

Former Rep. Duncan L. Hunter Sr., whom the younger Hunter succeeded, told Fox 5 San Diego the indictment coming this close to the midterm elections was a “political late hit.”

“The Democrat attorneys who went to Hillary Clinton’s fundraisers before they did this know they had all the records on my son a year and a half ago,” he said. “Now they are waiting until a few weeks before the election when it’s going to be very hard to get a trial finished and clear his name.”

Hunter Sr., who served in the House from 1981 to 2009 before his son took over the seat, said Democrats are hoping that the indictment will lead to California’s 50th District seat going “into their column.”

But contrary to Hunter Sr.’s remarks, the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, not Clinton lawyers, announced a criminal investigation of the younger Hunter back in March 2017.

On Tuesday, Hunter Jr. and his wife were indicted on Tuesday for using more than $250,000 in campaign cash for personal expenses from 2009 to 2016.

Hunter Sr. said his son would win the case “hands down” because “90 percent of this is on political dinners.”

“As a result of that he’s been one of the most effective fundraisers for our party nationally,” he said. “That’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Among the various charges, Hunter Jr. and his wife are accused of spending $15,000 on travel for themselves, their children and perhaps most infamously, their children’s pet rabbit.

They are also accused of spending more than $11,000 at Costco for groceries, cosmetics and video games.  

Hunter Sr. said the people of the 50th District know his son’s character and military service.

“He’s a guy that quit his job the day after we were attacked on 9/11, walked across the street, joined the Marine Corps and did three combat tours,” Hunter Sr. said.

Correction 10:15 a.m. | An earlier version of this story misstated the year Duncan Hunter Sr. began serving in Congress.

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