Sometimes grifters do come to justice. It happened with Al Capone and just today, it has happened with California congressman Duncan Hunter. After blaming his wife and kid for all of his woes, he finally decided to cop to his own malfeasance. Amazing. The Intelligencer:
“The plea I accepted is misuse of my own campaign funds, of which I pled guilty to only one count,” Hunter told KUSI in San Diego, which is close to his vast district in inland southern California. “I justify my plea with the understanding that I am responsible for my own campaign and my own campaign money.”
That justification probably means a great deal to his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret Hunter. Last year, the congressman blamed his spouse for any and all irregularities in his campaign coffers. (Prior to blaming his wife, he first blamed his son for the charges, claiming that the child had grabbed the wrong credit card to pay for stuff online.) “She handled my finances throughout my entire military career, and that continued on when I got to Congress,” Hunter told Fox News in 2018. “She was also the campaign manager so whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure, but I didn’t do it.” In his announcement of his guilty plea on Monday, Hunter did not mention whether or not his wife’s decision to flip and cooperate with prosecutors in June played a role in his decision. Pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, Margaret Hunter admitted that the pair had used campaign funds as “their personal bank account.”
Though the blame game surely was a strain on their relationship, at least they had fun while the scam lasted. In the August 2018 indictment, Hunter was accused of illegally using $250,000 in campaign money from 2009 to 2016 on fun couple’s activities like a $10,000 trip to Italy, surf shop purchases, Hawaiian shorts, oral surgery, and plane tickets for their pet rabbit, Eggburt. While Hunter could face 8 to 14 months in prison for his guilty plea, his lawyers will push for substantially less time, citing his service in Congress and in the military.
Plane tickets for the pet bun bun. Well, that’s a new one. Maybe Mike Pence can take a page from Hunter’s book and take Marlon Bundo on a nice long flight and pour him champagne.
While we’re all joking and rejoicing in Hunter’s departure, bear in mind that Darrel Issa might just come out of retirement and run for Hunter’s seat. The last thing that we need back in Congress is that clown.