Duncan Hunter, recently charged with massive campaign finance violations, is alleging his entire case needs to be tossed because the government attorneys on the case were out to get him.
Disgraced Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), indicted last year for skimming over $250,000 in campaign cash to pay for his lavish lifestyle, is demanding the well-substantiated charges be dismissed because two of the assistant U.S. attorneys (AUSA) handling the case once attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.
The motion to dismiss is right out of the Trump playbook. Hunter is alleging that a shadowy cabal of people in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California (SDCA) is out to get him because he was an early endorser of Trump's campaign for president.
His shocking evidence? That two assistant U.S. attorneys — Alana Robinson and Emily Allen — attended a fundraiser for Clinton in 2015 and did not donate any money.
You read that right. Hunter's motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, that the entire SDCA be recused, is based on the fact that some these attorneys did not give Hillary Clinton money. In Hunter's mind, the fact they didn't donate is proof they are out to get him.
As with all these fevered "deep state" conspiracy theories pushed by Trump and his ilk, there's a non-controversial and straightforward explanation for the attendance of Robinson and Allen at the fundraiser: They attended "in their official capacity assisting law enforcement."
As the SDCA's general counsel explained to Hunter back in August 2018, the Secret Service "regularly requests representation from United States Attorney's Offices around the country during protective mission visits" in case "immediate prosecutorial guidance could be necessary."
According to Hunter's attorneys, that's a lie, because the AUSAs, while there, got their photograph taken with then-candidate Clinton. Hunter doesn't explain how the fact two AUSAs wanted a photo is proof they weren't there in their official capacity. Instead, the motion to dismiss says this constitutes a "glaring conflict of interest and loss of impartiality."
One of Hunter's biggest problems with this argument is that the person who eventually signed off on his 48-page indictment in 2018 was then-United States Attorney for SDCA Adam Braverman.
Trump tapped Braverman for the top job at SDCA. Both Trump and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions were so keen to get Braverman into that role that they used a little-known provision to temporarily install Braverman, without Senate confirmation, back in November 2017.
To believe Hunter's allegations, you have to buy that two lower-level employees so hoodwinked a Trump appointee that he signed off on a lengthy high-profile indictment of a sitting congressman, ignoring that the indictment occurred because two hyper-political assistant U.S. attorneys were out to get Hunter. You also have to believe that Braverman then continued to defend the actions of these attorneys by providing SDCA's official explanation of the visit.
That's an awful lot to swallow, even by the standards of the Trump era, where any wrongdoing can be attributed to a complicated scheme that alleges someone is out to get Trump or anyone allied with him.
The real truth is much simpler. For seven years, Duncan Hunter and his wife engaged in massive campaign finance fraud, using campaign cash to take expensive family vacations, pay for their children's private school, and more. Hunter's wife has already pleaded guilty to these exact charges.
It isn't that anyone was out to get Hunter. Rather, it's that Hunter's grift-filled past finally caught up with him, and he can only blame that on himself and his greed.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.