United States congressman Duncan Hunter, a Republican representative from California known for vaping on the job, has pleaded guilty to charges of using campaign funds to pay for things like video games and plane tickets for his pet rabbits. The Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California announced that Hunter admitted to the fact that he “knowingly and wilfully stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds that he and his wife used to maintain their lifestyle.”
Along with his wife, Hunter is said to have used more than $150,000 in campaign funds between 2010 and 2016 on things that benefitted his family’s “personal use and enjoyment.” Hunter is said to have partaken in “30 or more illegal transactions” related to this money.
The Hunters are said to have spent the stolen money on things like video games, Lego sets, fast food, movie tickets, shoes, and groceries. Beyond that, the attorney’s office said the Hunters also used the funds on international vacations and even plane tickets for their pet rabbits, whose names are Eggburt and Cadbury.
In 2016, it was reported that Hunter spent more than $1,000 on Steam video games. At the time, Hunter said his son made the charges and that the politician was trying to reverse them.
“This was a deliberate, years-long violation of the law,” assistant US attorney David Leshner said. “Congressman Hunter used the power of his position to fund a lifestyle out of his reach, unwittingly financed by those who put him there. His guilty plea entered today acknowledges and accepts responsibility for his conduct.”
Hunter was officially charged with conspiracy to steal campaign funds, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been set for March 17, 2020.
Hunter is known popularly as the politician who vapes during congressional sessions.