Rep. Duncan D. Hunter seemed to shift any blame onto his wife, Margaret, on Thursday for alleged campaign fund abuses, saying she was the one handling his finances.
“She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure,” the California Republican said on Fox News.
“But I didn’t do it,” Hunter said. “I didn’t spend any money illegally.”
Duncan and Margaret Hunter pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to federal charges that they had stolen a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds to furnish their lavish lifestyle. The Hunters had been indicted earlier this week, accused of spending the campaign money on expenses including a $14,000 Italian vacation, groceries and other household items.
“My campaign did make mistakes,” Hunter said in the Fox interview. “There was money spent on things not by me but by the campaign, and I paid that back before my last election.”
Hunter, a former Marine, said that when he went to Iraq in 2003 he gave his wife power of attorney and she has handled his finances throughout his military career and time in Congress.
The Hunters are accused of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, falsification of records and prohibited use of campaign contributions, among other charges.