A Republican member of Congress, who has long been a proponent of so-called “family values,” has been involved in numerous extramarital affairs and used some of his campaign fundraising money to pay for his mistresses expenses, prosecutors allege.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and his wife Margaret Hunter were indicted last summer on charges that they misused his campaign funds for personal reasons. This week, however, prosecutors revealed in court documents that the congressman was misspending his fundraising dollars for women besides his own wife, The Independent reported.
Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of corruption, and is planning to testify against her husband moving forward.
Prosecutors say that Hunter spent $250,000 for personal reasons. Among them, Hunter allegedly spent his funds on meals, alcoholic drinks, and vacation trips for his mistresses.
“Simply put, carrying out a sequence of romantic liaisons is so far removed from any legitimate campaign or congressional activity as to rebut any argument that Mr. Hunter believed these were proper uses of campaign funds,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.
Hunter, who has represented his district since 2013, said he believes he’s the target of politically-motivated prosecutors who have a vendetta against him. But more allegations came about this week as well, including claims from a former Republican staffer that Hunter groped her at party-sponsored event.
Conservative commentator Rory Riley-Topping, who worked as a GOP House staffer in 2014 when the event took place, said that Hunter “clearly appeared intoxicated” when he interacted with her.
“He leaned into me very closely and [I] said, ‘No, I want to talk to you,’ and I felt very uncomfortable and tried to back up and he reached around and put his hand on my behind and said, ‘Let me give you my cell phone number,’” Riley-Topping said according to The Daily Beast.
The allegations against Hunter, both in court and in public, are a stark contrast from the type of person he’s tried to paint himself as being. On his official House website, for instance, Hunter claims to have led the fight in defending “family values,” including his belief that marriage is between “one man and one woman.” He also led the fight against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and introduced legislation that would “protect” straight service members in the armed forces.
“I voted in favor of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act … that would restrict the use of federal property for same-sex marriage ceremonies and provide additional protections to Chaplains for the expression of their beliefs,” Hunter stated on his website during the Obama era. “I also signed a letter to the Secretary of Defense, along with a number of my colleagues, to express my frustrations for the President’s statement that criticized these conscience protections and to make clear that despite these comments, the DOD has an obligation to execute the law, as written.”
Hunter’s statements on his website seem to demonstrate he has a hypocritical viewpoint on the supposed “family values” everyone else should follow versus what he adheres to. He’s similarly made statements in the past that could demonstrate even more hypocrisy, given the latest accusations of sexual assault made against him.
In a 2018 Facebook Live interview with ABC 10 News in California, Hunter, discussing a state legislator who had been accused of sexual misconduct, said it was wholly appropriate for that individual to be expelled from office.
“If you sexually harass people or sexually assault them, you shouldn’t be in office,” Hunter said at the time.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr