Indicted GOP congressman offers an amazing excuse spending campaign money on extramarital affairs

Indicted GOP congressman offers an amazing excuse spending campaign money on extramarital affairs
Gage Skidmore

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s lawyers are asking a judge to keep the jury in Hunter’s campaign finance violations trial from hearing that he spent campaign money on his affairs with five different women. And the lawyers, saying that Hunter was “a married man mixing business with pleasure,” have come up with a line of argument that’s … creative.

Hunter is on trial for having spent campaign money for personal reasons, including not just affairs but vacations, clothes, and video games. His expenditures on affairs, then, are entirely relevant to the charges he faces. But! Hunter carried on these affairs with three lobbyists, a staffer in his own office, and a Republican National Committee official. So his lawyers are arguing that the money he spent in the course of having affairs with them should count as a legitimate political expenditure.

These women were, after all, professional contacts for Hunter. The relationships, the lawyers argue, “often served an overtly political purpose,” so “Unlike intimacy, the fact that an individual’s relationship with Mr. Hunter includes a professional aspect that directly, or indirectly, relates to his campaign or duties as a holder of Federal office, is directly relevant to whether Mr. Hunter could properly use campaign funds for an expense in connection with that individual.”

What a defense: Yes, he used campaign funds on his affairs, but he only had affairs with women who were also business contacts, so it’s all kosher. Prosecutors disagree. Strongly. Hunter’s wife, who has cut a deal to cooperate with prosecutors, presumably also disagrees.

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