GOP rep denies allegations of improperly using campaign funds

bunnypac-fb-profile-360px.pngRep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is denying allegations of misusing campaign funds for personal expenses.

Hunter, who is currently under criminal investigation by the Justice Department, told Politico that he may not have been "attentive enough" to his campaign finances, but insisted that he is not responsible.

"I was not involved in any criminal action," Hunter said. "Maybe I wasn't attentive enough to my campaign. That's not a crime."

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) began looking into Hunter's campaign spending after it registered a number of questionable expenses, including $600 on airfare expenses for his family's pet rabbit and $217 at a jewelry store in Italy. In all, those expenses amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.

The OCE announced last week that it was deferring its probe at the request of the Justice Department, indicating that the department is conducting its own investigation.

Duncan said he did not know where the expenses came from or who was responsible, but asserted that he had no part in them. He would not say if his wife, Margaret, who is also his campaign manager, spent the money and repeated that he himself did not.

"I'm not saying that," he said. "I'm saying that I didn't make any of those charges. That's for an investigation. I'm just telling you that I didn't make any of those expenditures."

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported last April that only Duncan and Margaret Hunter had access to the campaign credit card at the time of the expenses. Duncan Hunter is the only one to have access to the credit card now.

The California Republican also said that he was confident that the Justice Department's investigation would not result in criminal charges being filed and that he would ultimately be cleared of any allegations against him.

"At some point, the justice system will work. I've got faith in that," Hunter told Politico. 

Originally published in The Hill March 30, 2017.