Valley News -

Rep. Duncan Hunter: 'Charges are politically motivated'


Last updated 8/22/2018 at 4:42pm

TEMECULA - A day after he and his wife were indicted on charges of using more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, such as family vacations and dental work, Rep. Duncan Hunter, whose district includes the Temecula area, said today the case against him is politically motivated and he will fight to clear his name.

"I believe in our American system of justice. I support our system of justice,'' Hunter, R-Alpine, said in a statement released by his campaign. "I cannot say the same, however, for those within our justice system that have a political agenda to harm those with whom they differ.

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"One of the pillars of our country since its founding is that those tasked with enforcing the law would do so in an unbiased manner, allowing evidence to dictate how cases should run, with nothing impeding the rule of law,'' he said. "Unfortunately, this is not the case today. The fact is there is a culture operating within our Justice Department that is politically motivated.''

Hunter said that after two years of investigating, the DOJ decided to take the legal action against him within weeks of the November general election, in which he's running for a sixth term. His arraignment is scheduled Thursday in federal court in San Diego.

"It is a sad state of affairs when those entrusted with upholding the law have no appreciation for following the rule of law,'' the 41-year-old congressman said.

Hunter said that for two years, he has made himself available to cooperate in the investigation and not once has been asked to answer any questions.

Hunter's reelection campaign issued a statement condemning the indictment as politically motivated. Hunter -- like President Donald Trump -- has been critical this year of the Justice Department, calling it "corrupt, answerable to no one and (using) the law to extort the American people and effect political change.''

Hunter was first elected to Congress in 2008 when he won the seat his father held for 14 terms.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, called the charges against Hunter "deeply serious'' and removed him from his committee assignments "pending the resolution of this matter.''

Hunter was a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and chairman of its Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, the House Armed Services Committee and Education and the Workforce Committee.


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