If Rep. Duncan Hunter had actually stepped onto Mexican soil — instead of just pretending he had — he could have been in very serious trouble.
On Thursday night, indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) came very close to violating his parole during a political stunt at the U.S.-Mexico border.
During a ride-along with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents in Yuma, Arizona, Duncan was filmed crossing a small fence to show, in his words, "how easy it is to cross the border in Yuma, Arizona."
If Hunter really did cross the border into Mexico, he would be in big trouble. Hunter was indicted last year for illegally using hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund to pay for family vacations, trips to the theater, and even to fly his family's pet rabbit across the country. While Hunter is out on bail, awaiting trial, he is forbidden from leaving the country.
However, Hunter's whole video was a lie, and nothing more than a political stunt.
"What [Hunter] crossed was a vehicle barrier," CBP spokesperson Vincent Dulesky told the Times of San Diego. "That is approximately 75-100 feet from the border — the border is actually the river that's west of that."
Late night ride-along with U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, AZ. pic.twitter.com/azbsFCKvaV
— Rep. Duncan Hunter (@Rep_Hunter) April 18, 2019
Hunter's Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, first alerted the Times to the potential parole violation.
"Hunter's own words: 'Mexico is 15 meters from here' then he … walked 15 meters and crossed the border," Campa-Najjar said in an email to the Times. He added that Hunter had either violated his parole or engaged in a political stunt.
Hunter is not the first Republican to pretend he's at the border to make some sort of political point.
Earlier this week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) shared a video of himself in which he claimed to be at the U.S.-Mexico border watching a border wall being built.
"The Wall is being built!" he declared.
In reality, Gaetz was in Coolidge, Arizona, which is roughly 100 miles away from the border. He and a group of other Republican lawmakers were watching a construction company's demonstration of how it would build a wall at the border if it won a government contract.
Hunter, like Gaetz, tried to pull off a bad stunt to drum up support for Trump's proposed border wall to keep people out. If the charges against him are true, Hunter could be spending lots of time surrounded by walls meant to keep him in.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.