Rep. Duncan Hunter of California used campaign money to help fund five extramarital affairs, including with lobbyists and a woman who worked in his congressional office, federal prosecutors allege. A new court filing claims the Republican — who is of using campaign funds for family vacations and personal luxuries — also spent the cash on trips, dinners and drinks 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 Hunter believed these were proper uses of campaign funds,” the filing in a California court said.
According to the court documents, Hunter started using campaign money for affairs “shortly after” arriving in Congress in 2009. Prosecutors say his campaign cash helped pay for flings with one coworker, three lobbyists and a woman who worked for “a member of the House of Representatives leadership.” The women are not named in the filing.
The filing details how Hunter allegedly spent thousands of dollars from his campaign on dates with the five women. Those expenses include hundreds of dollars on Uber rides to and from their homes; $202 on drinks and snacks during a “triple date” with two other couples; and $905 on a hotel room and bar tab.
In one instance, according to the filing, Hunter and one of the lobbyists planned a ski vacation. He flew to Reno, Nevada, claiming he was attending a convention for a non-profit advocacy group. During the vacation, Hunter allegedly spent $351 on a rental car, $7 on a beer, $1,008 on a hotel tab and $180 on airfare back to Washington. All of that money came from his campaign, the filing states.
Hunter later allegedly took the woman on a “double date” road trip to Virginia Beach with friends, which included another congressman. On that trip, he allegedly spent $905 in campaign funds at a hotel and $257 on mileage reimbursement, even though the lobbyist drove the group in her own car.
Prosecutors say Hunter often didn’t explain these expenses to his campaign treasurer.
A spokesman for Hunter did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment. Speaking to The Washington Post, Hunter did not address the allegations, but said the prosecutors were “criminally political.”
“This is a personal smear campaign,” Hunter said.
A federal grand jury last August indicted Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, on 60 counts related to the alleged misuse of campaign funds. Prosecutors accused the couple of using $250,000 in campaign money for vacations, theater tickets, their children’s school tuition and other expenses, like plane tickets for their pet rabbit.
Hunter pleaded not guilty. Despite the indictment, he was re-elected to another term in Congress, though former House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed Hunter off of his committee assignments.
Hunter initially implied that his wife was to blame for the funds being misused. Earlier this month, sheand agreed to “tell everything” to prosecutors.