“So whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure. But I didn’t do it.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who has been indicted on corruption charges related to the misuse of campaign funds, suggested his wife might be responsible for the violations in a Thursday night interview with Fox News.
“She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure,” Hunter said at one point during the segment. “But I didn’t do it. I didn’t spend any money illegally.”
Hunter, a Republican from San Diego, and his wife pled not guilty in federal court Thursday as the couple face 60 charges for allegedly misusing $250,000 in campaign money for personal expenses. Some of the many charges against Hunter and his wife include using
campaign funds to pay for expensive vacations, lavish dinners, dental fees, and even a plane ticket for their pet rabbit.
In an interview Thursday night with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, Hunter discussed those allegations and pleaded his innocence. However, when MacCallum asked Hunter whether he blamed his wife more than himself, the Congressman did not hold back, reaffirming his claim that his wife was fully responsible for the couple’s campaign finances and that he, at least, did nothing wrong.
Hunter’s legal troubles coincide with a hectic week for various associates of President Donald Trump.
This week, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen made a plea deal with prosecutors and implicated Trump in a campaign violation leading up to the 2016 election. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on eight of 18 counts of tax fraud on Tuesday.
Hunter, one of Trump’s earlier supporters in the President’s 2016 campaign, appears to be no exception to the heavy cloud of alleged corruption looming over Washington at the moment.
Here’s the play-by-play:
MacCallum asked Hunter about his earlier claims in court about his wife being in charge of most family and campaign finances:
“You also said that your wife handled a lot of the family expenses and the campaign financing. So you’re saying that it’s more her fault than your fault?” the host asked.
Hunter, rather than rejecting MacCallum’s suspicion, used his previous military service to restate his own innocence in the case:
“When I went away to Iraq in 2003, the first time, I gave her power of attorney. She handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got into Congress,” said Hunter.
He then reaffirmed that there was “no way” that he did anything he is accused of. He couldn’t say the same for his wife.
“She was also the campaign manager. So whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure,” Hunter said. “But I didn’t do it. I didn’t spend any money illegally. I did not use campaign money, especially for Wounded Warrior stuff. There’s no way.”