Is Duncan Hunter throwing his wife under the bus?

The congressman and his wife were charged by a federal grand jury Tuesday with using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets - even fast food purchases - and attempting to hide the illegal spending in federal records.

The Hunters pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to federal criminal charges that they swiped $250,000 in campaign cash to live a lavish lifestyle far above their means.

On Thursday, bail for Hunter was set at $15,000, and for Margaret Hunter at $10,000.

California's Hunter is accused of improperly using campaign money between 2009 and 2016, on things like family vacations in Hawaii and Italy, school tuition and dental work.

Hunter easily finished first in the June primary and established himself as a strong favorite to hold onto California's 50th Congressional District in San Diego and Riverside counties.

Hunter was first elected in 2008, after serving three combat tours in the US Marine Corps. "This is modern politics and modern media, mixed in with law enforcement that has a political agenda", he said.

Trippi told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday he expects the criminal case against Hunter will lead more voters to support Campa-Najjar. "They want to rig the election their own way because they can't beat me in a real election", he said.

On Thursday evening, Fox News host Martha MacCallum asked Hunter, "Are you saying it's more her fault than your fault?"

"My prosecutor and the acting US attorney that issued the court orders to search my house, my office, had just attended a Hillary Clinton fundraiser with another USA attorney out here in San Diego", he said.

The portrait of the Hunters created in the indictment is not of a rogue wife, refusing to heed her husband's call to change her ways.

Vox reports: "Hunter will face Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who worked in Obama's Department of Labor, in the general election in November, and who has repeatedly out-fundraised him".

"This is something that is going to hang over him for a long time", he said, referring to Hunter.

Earlier this month Trump's first such backer, Chris Collins of NY, was indicted for insider trading.

There is no doubt a win would be an upset even with the allegations against Hunter and his wife.

Campa-Najjar, who lives in Jamul near the U.S. -Mexico border, says walls are not the answer when 40 percent of those entering the U.S. illegally come by plane or overstay their visas.

"If we are a nation of laws, then you can not in good conscience vote for Duncan Hunter", he said.

Hunter (right) also said that his wife, Margaret (center) handled most of the family expenses and was the campaigner manager. They overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times in a seven-year period, racking up more than $37,000 in overdraft fees.

The Hunters had been indicted earlier this week, accused of spending the campaign money on expenses including a $14,000 Italian vacation, groceries and other household items.


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