The wife of Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter has pleaded guilty to pilfering campaign funds, including using the money to pay or a plane ticket for the family’s pet bunny.
Margaret Hunter had been accused of using her husband’s campaign funds as something of a personal piggy bank, using the donations to fly to Las Vegas and a $10,000 getaway to Italy. Federal prosecutors said she also used it for expensive shopping trips and for tuition for their children’s private school.
As the New York Post noted, one of the most attention-grabbing purchases was a plane ticket for the couple’s pet bunny, Eggburt. The couple paid $500 so the pet could fly with them. Margaret Hunter also admitted to concealing the purchases by claiming they were campaign-related expenses.
The scandal erupted before the 2018 midterm elections, but Duncan Hunter was still re-elected despite his own indictment — one of the few Republicans in California to win during what was otherwise a blue wave. Hunter is seen as a staunch ally of Donald Trump, and many saw parallels in the charges Hunter faces and the allegations against President Donald Trump.
The president has been implicated in a campaign finance scandal by failing to report a hush money payoff to actress Stormy Daniels, who later shared details of an alleged affair with Trump. The president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was already convicted of felony fraud for concealing the payment, and Cohen later confirmed that Trump was an unindicted co-conspirator on the indictment.
Hunter has found himself in a series of other controversies since first facing charges last year. In a podcast that aired last month, he admitted to killing “hundreds of civilians” while serving in Fallujah during the Iraq War.
“I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians,” he said, via KPBS News.
Hunter later admitted that he posed for a picture with a killed enemy combatant, the New York Post reported.
Hunter was speaking in support of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who has been accused of killing civilians and had reportedly been considered for a pardon from Trump.
The wife of CA Rep. Duncan Hunter flipped Thursday, pleading guilty and admitting she and her husband misused more than $200,000 worth of campaign funds for personal gain — including a $10,000 trip to Italy and plane tickets for their pet rabbit, Eggburt. https://t.co/uCKW2PDml3— julia reinstein ???? (@juliareinstein) June 13, 2019
Margaret Hunter faces up to five years in prison for her spending of campaign funds. She has also agreed to help in the investigation of her husband, who has been indicted and has pleaded not guilty. Meanwhile, Duncan Hunter has maintained that his prosecution is politically motivated.