Rep. Hunter Files Motion to Dismiss Campaign Fund Mismanagement Charges - NBC 7 San Diego

Rep. Hunter Files Motion to Dismiss Campaign Fund Mismanagement Charges

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    U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, center, leaves court Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in San Diego. Hunter and his wife Margaret pleaded not guilty on Aug. 23 to charges they illegally used his campaign account for personal expenses. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Lawyers for Rep. Duncan Hunter filed a motion in federal court Monday to dismiss campaign fund misuse charges, citing alleged political bias by the two U.S. Attorneys prosecuting the case.

    The motion claims that U.S. Attorneys Alana Robinson and Emily Allen attended an August 2015 fundraiser for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for partisan political reasons and to take a photo with Clinton.

    "Their attendance at the event raises serious concerns regarding a conflict of interest and a loss of impartiality… The undeniable facts are that both attended for one purpose and one purpose only — they attended to meet the person they believed would be the next President of the United States," the motion says.

    Hunter’s team also alleges that the attorneys didn’t make any contributions and used their positions to gain access to Clinton.

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    In response to a 2018 request that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California be recused from the investigation into Hunter, the General Counsel for the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorney told Hunter’s team that Robinson and Allen “were not at the Hillary Clinton event as Clinton supporters but in their official capacity assisting law enforcement.”

    The motion also cites an email sent from the Secret Service to the U.S. Attorney’s Office with instructions detailing where Robinson and Allen should park and where their photo opportunity with Clinton would take place.

    You can read the entire dismissal motion here.

    Hunter’s lawyers also brought up concerns over the event at Hunter’s arraignment in August 2018 and received the following statement from the Secret Service the next day.

    "The Secret Service regularly requests representation from the United States Attorney’s Office around the country during protective mission visits. The in-person representation provides for, and facilitates, real-time direct communications in the event of a protective security related incident where immediate prosecutorial guidance could be necessary."

    Former U.S. Attorney Jason Forge called the motion "poorly written, poorly researched, poorly reasoned, and it will be poorly received.”

    "It's the ultimate act of desperation, and a resounding confirmation that he and his defense team realize that it won't cost them any credibility because they have none left to lose," Forge said in an emailed statement. "He continues to ride his father's coattails while blaming his wife, two female career prosecutors, and apparently Hillary Clinton, for his own decisions and actions. It's ironic that someone seemingly incapable of manning up would have such resentment towards women. He's a disgrace to his family, his constituents, and the Marine Corps."

    Hunter’s wife Margaret pleaded guilty earlier this month to campaign fund mismanagement charges

    Between 2010 and 2016, Margaret Hunter said she and her husband "knowingly and willingly" agreed to convert campaign funds to personal use, according to court documents.

    She faces up to five years in jail with a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

    Rep. Hunter issued the following statement Monday:

    "Every San Diegan who has been following this politically-driven prosecution should read the correspondence from the Secret Service that was revealed today. It shows conclusively that the two U.S. Attorneys who have driven this prosecution did so after attending a Hillary Clinton fundraiser and then covered up their political activities by claiming they were part of Hillary's security team. The Secret Service correspondence shows that they came to the fundraiser event solely for political purposes.

    "It is every American's constitutional right to have equal protection under the law. It is clear by the prosecutor's actions that they have a political bias that merits the court's attention and consideration. The U.S. Constitution and federal law exists to protect us against these types of bias. Political agendas have no place in our courtrooms and when lies and their cover-up are exposed, accountable action should be taken."

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