FBI Raided Office Of California Congressman’s Campaign Treasurer; Probe Continues

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FBI agents searched the office of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign treasurer earlier this year amid an ongoing investigation of alleged misuse of campaign funds by the California Republican, who now faces opposition within his own party.

The raid took place in February in Alexandria, Virginia, at Election CFO, a company that outsources treasurer services to political candidates. The company works for Hunter and has been caught up in the FBI probe. Its founder, Christopher Marston, also serves as treasurer for Hunter.

The operation concluded with the seizure of USB drives, a Samsung tablet, financial and travel records and computer equipment.

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The warrant was unsealed in March, and its release reveals new information about the investigation of Hunter.

Hunter, currently serving his fifth term in Congress, is facing a criminal investigation of possible misuse of campaign funds for personal purchases.

Hunter’s use of campaign money first caught the public’s attention when it was reported that $1,300 of campaign money was spent on video games. The congressman blamed his son, suggesting he simply used the wrong credit card.

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However, other odd campaign expenditures have come to light, including a $600 plane ride for his family’s pet rabbit.

Since then, Hunter has reimbursed his campaign coffers over $62,000 for personal expenses or charges lacking appropriate documentation. Reimbursements for items include his son’s video games, tuition, jewelry, school uniforms, oral surgery, resort stays and other purchases.

The Department of Justice is looking into communication between Hunter, his wife Margaret Hunter (who also served as campaign manager), chief of staff Joe Kasper, office manager Caroline DeBeikesand and several others within the congressman’s inner circle.

Speaking with Politico in March, Hunter insisted he’s done nothing illegal, but did not specify who spent campaign money for personal pleasure.

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“I was not involved in any criminal action,” he stated. “Maybe I wasn’t attentive enough to my campaign. That’s not a crime.

“I didn’t make any of those charges. None. None of those expenditures.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune disclosed in April 2016 that only Hunter and his wife had access to the campaign credit card. But when asked if his wife made the fraudulent purchases, Hunter denied that as well.

“I’m not saying that. I’m saying that I didn’t make any of those charges,” Hunter said. “That’s for an investigation. I’m just telling you that I didn’t make any of those expenditures.”

The investigation appears to be taking a toll on the congressman’s professional standing.

Despite his winning his district last year by a 27-point margin, numerous candidates have already lined up to challenge him. Many of them are citing the improper use of campaign cash as reason to defeat him.

Only eight months have elapsed since the last election and he has already attracted half a dozen opponents, two of them Republicans.