California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife pleaded not guilty Thursday to a list of charges that say the two illegally used his campaign account for personal expenses.
The two pleaded not guilty after it was reported Tuesday that the two illegally spent more than $250,000 in campaign funds on vacations and personal items. The two were using this money between 2009 and 2016, according to the Department of Justice.
The congressman and his wife, Margaret Hunter, were charged with conspiracy against the U.S., wire fraud, falsification of records and prohibited use of campaign contributions. The Republican, who won his primary election in June, had a bail of $15,000 set. His wife’s bail was set at $10,000. (RELATED: Rep. Duncan Hunter Indicted For Allegedly Misusing $250K In Campaign Funds)
The FBI began investigating the Hunters in June 2016 after the Federal Election Commission and San Diego Union-Tribune found problems with their campaign expenditures.
“The indictment alleges that Congressman Hunter and his wife repeatedly dipped into campaign coffers as if they were personal bank accounts, and falsified FEC campaign finance reports to cover their tracks,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said in a statement.
Hunter was removed from his committee assignments until the case is over, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“The charges against Rep. Hunter are deeply serious. The Ethics Committee deferred its investigation at the request of the Justice Department,” Ryan said in a statement Tuesday. “Now that he has been indicted, Rep. Hunter will be removed from his committee assignments pending the resolution of this matter.”
Since indicted, a spokesperson for Hunter said the congressman believes the charges against him and his wife are “purely politically motivated.”
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