Feds Slap Disgraced Rep. Duncan Hunter With Measly Fine After Trump Pardon
Almost exactly two years later Duncan Hunter Representative (R-CA) sentenced to 11 months in prison for campaign finance violations — and more than a year after then-President Donald Trump forgive him– The Federal Election Commission finally settled the case.
Publication agency its decision on Thursday: Those involved will have to pay two fines, totaling just $16,000.
Hunter violated what many consider to be one of the most obvious personal use violations in recent history. Over a period of several years, him and his wife—Margaret Hunter, who served as her campaign director—stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign account and spend it on personal items like vacations, gifts, groceries, dental surgery, and credit card bills. The hunter himself accused used thousands of dollars of donors’ money to fund numerous extramarital affairs, including with multiple lobbyists and a Republican aide.
Margaret Hunter, who pleaded guilty to electricity fraud in 2018 and cooperated against her husband, was placed under house arrest for eight months. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty conspiracy to misuse campaign funds in December 2019, resigned from Congress the following month and was sentenced to 11 months in prison in March 2020.
However, he did not serve a single day, and along with his wife received a full forgiveness from Trump in December 2020.
Although the Department of Justice administers the criminal statutes of campaign finance law, of which there are relatively few, the FEC retains jurisdiction over civil violations. And so, a full two years after the sentencing and almost four years after the initial 60-count indictment, the FEC, in a rare 6-0 unanimous vote, finally moved to the Hunters.
They must first pass the amnesty. Although the general counsel of report admitting that the courts have not “justly resolved” whether the president’s pardon powers extend to civil violations, Trump’s pardon text in this case, the report concluded. argument, is narrow and “directs to criminal convictions and leads to punishment.”
But contrary to the drama and consequences of the criminal matter, the civil matter seems muted – a personal fine of $12,000 to the Hunters, and a fine of $4,000 to the campaign and treasurer of the it, Republican agent Chris Marston.
The mediation agreement with the campaign acknowledging that under “normal circumstances” the FEC would issue a $133,000 fine for violations of this magnitude. But in this case, the agency easily argued that the commission — which, according to the FEC data charged $14,000 in the bank, with $40,000 in liabilities – had “proven a lack of financial resources” and was “an inability to raise additional capital.”
For its part, The Hunters pledged not to challenge the decision and accept the fine “without admitting liability.” But another passage in Agreement explicitly state that they “accept unintentional and intentional liability” for failing to comply with civil laws against personal use.
That document also notes that the committee considered a series of explanations from the estranged couple, who, according to filings in San Diego Family Court, will finalize their divorce settlement in September. Five. One of them was: “Respondents attributed many of the violations to the nature of a close-knit, family campaign.”