GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.), who was indicted earlier this week on corruption charges related to the use of his campaign money, appeared to cast blame on his wife Margaret Hunter for potential wrongdoing when he said in an interview Thursday night that she handled the finances for their family and his campaign.
“She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure,” Hunter told Fox News on Thursday as the two face charges for illegal use of campaign funds. “But I didn’t do it. I didn’t spend any money illegally.”
Hunter explained that the trips flagged by the Justice Department as personal vacations paid for with campaign funds were actually “fundraisers,” and that he and his wife are innocent of the accused wrongdoing.
“That’s how we campaigned and tried to raise money, is by traveling, having dinners, meeting people,” Hunter told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
“My campaign did make mistakes,” Hunter acknowledged. “There was money spent on things not by me but by the campaign. And I paid that back before my last election.”
Hunter and his wife face 60 charges related to the alleged misuse of $250,000 in campaign money. Prosecutors say the couple used the money to illegally pay for personal expenses, including lavish vacations, dental work, international travel for nearly a dozen of his relatives, and a plane ticket for their pet rabbit.
The couple entered pleas of not guilty in federal court Thursday morning.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has directed Hunter to be removed from his committee assignments amid the investigation.