In just the latest betrayal of President Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp,” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)—the second congressman to endorse Trump’s run—and his wife Margaret were indicted on Tuesday evening for misusing more than $250,000 in campaign funds and filing false records with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
“These are just the guys who’ve been caught. Time to clean up Washington.”
—Sen. Elizabeth WarrenThe indictment alleges “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,” Adam Braverman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said Tuesday. “Elected representatives should jealously guard the public’s trust, not abuse their positions for personal gain. Today’s indictment is a reminder that no one is above the law.”
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The news broke as Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight felony counts involving tax and bank fraud, and the president’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts, including campaign finance violations that implicate Trump. It also came less than two weeks after Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Trump’s first backer in Congress, was arrested and charged for his alleged role in an insider trading scheme.
Mere hours before Manafort’s conviction, Cohen’s plea, and Hunter’s indictment, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday unveiled her bold new anti-corruption legislation. During her speech introducing the proposal, she declared, “Let’s face it: there’s no real question that the Trump era has given us the most nakedly corrupt leadership this nation has seen in our lifetimes.”
The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) had filed multiple complaints against Hunter for spending campaign funds for personal use in 2016. Responding to the indictment on Tuesday, CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said, “We believed he was violating the law but had no idea of the systematic and deceitful lengths to which he and his wife had gone.”
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