San Diego

Report: Grand Jury Subpoena Issued in Duncan Hunter Campaign Finance Probe

A grand jury subpoena has been issued in the ongoing investigation into campaign finance spending by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District), the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday. 

Hunter has been criticized for improper use of campaign funds but has repeatedly said he repaid the questionable expenses.

The existence of a subpoena would confirm that a grand jury with the power to issue criminal charges is reviewing evidence against the congressman.

According to SDUT, the subpoena was issued to a business in Hunter's congressional district. 

In March, NBC 7 reported that the Justice Department was looking at the legality of about $60,000 going from Hunter's campaign committee toward the personal expenses.

The political funds he had spent over a nearly two-year period went to hotels as far away as Italy, posh department stores and restaurants, cigars, entertainment, jewelry, groceries, dental services, airfare, health care, school tuition, electricity, water and cable TV at his home in Alpine. 

In May, NBC 7 learned cigar lounges and hotels showed up as venues for campaign spending by Hunter. 

Filings by Hunter's campaign showed nearly $2,000 spent at a Las Vegas hotel and bar and $353 worth of food and beverages at the Alpine Tobacco Company, in his Congressional district.

Hunter’s people cited sloppy records and bookkeeping and said the expenses were reimbursed.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has reported $61,000 in tabs at bars and restaurants, $38,000 in hotel charges, $49,000 in transportation costs and $24,000 in grocery and retail charges were not reimbursed. 

When asked for information regarding the UT's report on a grand jury subpoena issued in the investigation, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice said "no comment." 

Michael Harrison, Hunter's spokesperson, said he could not comment on the investigation and referred NBC 7 to Hunter's legal counsel. 

NBC 7's phone call to attorney Greg Vega has not been returned. 

A search warrant made public in August revealed federal officials searched the office of the congressman's campaign treasurer in Alexandria, Virginia. 

In the February 23 search, FBI agents were looking for campaign spending records and communications between Hunter, his wife and aides as well as the Hunter family's travel records. 

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