The FEC, drawing the same conclusions as a criminal investigation, fined the six-term GOP MP, his wife and his campaign committee for misappropriating donor money as a personal piggy bank.
Why $ 16,000 – about a tenth of a possible “civil penalty”?
For one thing, his campaign committee reported $ 14,000.19 in cash.
Hunter escaped 11 months in prison after receiving a pardon from President Trump in December 2020. Hunter’s longtime wife, Margaret, who faces eight months in house arrest, also received a pardon.
“Under normal circumstances, the [FEC] “It would require a significantly higher civil penalty of $ 133,000 based on the breaches described in this agreement that remain within the statute of limitations,” the service told Noah Bookbinder. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, DC who filed the initial complaint in April 2016.
However, the FEC said it had taken into account the fact that Hunter’s campaign committee “has demonstrated a lack of financial resources and an inability to raise additional funds”.
He said Hunter’s commission had $ 39,941.96 in outstanding debt. But if Hunter closed the fundraiser and later received checks, he promised to sign such payments to the US Treasury Department.
Half the Republican FEC actually denied Hunter’s what said the chief of staff at the time of the guard’s complaint – that “CREW is a left-wing organization targeting Trump supporters.”
But Duncan Lee Hunter, the father of the embarrassed MP, was reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune as he said on Friday: “This decision by the FEC clearly reflects that Duncan’s prosecution was a political success.”
In a rejection of previously secret memoranda and letters, the FEC revealed that its politically divided board voted (mostly 6-0) fine on the Hunters and its campaign committee, headed by Treasurer Chris Marston.
But as early as October 2017 – two years before the Hunters pleaded guilty – the FEC adviser wrote: “There is no basis for support [the Hunter committee’s] vague allegations that the disbursements were “unintentional” or “unauthorized”.
“Given Mr Hunter’s many years of experience as a candidate and MP and Margaret Hunter as a campaign executive, it is doubtful that they have been able to make hundreds of inadvertent credit card purchases in many reporting periods and have failed to personally observe “They were not used to pay significant living expenses,” the FEC investigation said.
“Furthermore, the Hunters seem to have known that spending campaign funds on personal belongings was unacceptable. They made compensation in June and October 2015 for “personal” and “wrong” expenses, but apparently continued to use campaign funds for personal expenses until shortly before April 2016 “.
Although returns could mitigate a breach, the FEC said, they did not absolve the Hunters from responsibility.
“Indeed, Mr. Hunter did not reimburse the commission for more than $ 48,000 in personal disbursements until after [one] a complaint has been lodged, “the FEC said.
On February 15, 2022, the FEC accepted a signed agreement with Hunter’s father, former MP Duncan Lee Hunter.
“Therefore, the case is closed on this matter,” the FEC wrote to Senior Hunter, acting as his son’s attorney.
(Duncan Lee Hunter, was a graduate of San Diego Law School was introduced to the State Bar Association California in 1976, but was “inactive” as a lawyer between 1983 and 2019 and then for seven months in 2021. He continued to be an “active” lawyer in August 2021.)
In a “conciliation agreement” signed by Senior Hunter and Margaret Hunter last December, the Hunters argued that many of the alleged breaches were “due to the nature of a close, family campaign.”
The Hunters argued that many of the costs in question were in accordance with federal law.
However, they acknowledged that “in some cases the records that would clearly define the purpose of the spending campaign are either absent or insufficient.
The agreement stated that the Hunters accepted “unknowingly and voluntarily liability for non-compliance with its civil provisions” 52 USC § 30114 (b), which prohibits the conversion of campaign funds into personal use. “
Details not previously disclosed in the FEC documents include:
- The Hunters never explained Margaret Hunter’s campaign responsibilities from September 2011 to December 2012 and from January 2014 to February 2017, when she was paid $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 a month, respectively.
- “Obvious mathematical errors” in how much the Hunters said they had to compensate their campaign committee. “Based on our agreement on these errors, it appears that DDHC admitted $ 70,726 in personal disbursements, but the Hunters’s total compensation payments were only $ 65,962, which means that $ 4,764 has not yet been reimbursed,” they said. FEC researchers.
- A list of 53 “complainants” against Hunter, including a number who gave money to Hunter’s opponent in 2018, Democratic Ammar Kampa-Najjar.
- And a detailed list of disbursements referred to as ‘Personal’ or ‘Incorrect’, including trips to Hawaii, Arizona and Italy. Dozens of online video games. grocery store and “big box” markets. and a private school tutorial for the Children of Hunters.
“In addition, a number of ‘wrong’ cash withdrawals were made directly to Margaret Hunter,” the FEC researchers found.
“In conclusion, based on the information available, it appears that Representative Hunter converted the campaign funds into personal use,” the FEC survey reported on October 6, 2017 – 10 months before the Hunters is charged by a federal grand jury in San Diego.
“The Commission therefore has reason to believe that Mr Hunter breached 52 USC § 30114 (b) ».
FEC lawyers also explained why the Hunters were still on the hook for civil penalties despite the presidential pardon.
“To the extent that presidential power extends to civil liability, which is an open legal issue, there is no basis for concluding that Hunters
“Graces should be interpreted as a discharge of their civil liability,” FEC lawyers said in June 2021.
“It seems that the pardons were intended to acquit only the criminal convictions of the Hunters. In addition, the enforcement process here is not only based on the fact of the Hunters’ convictions, but also on the behavior based on the convictions, which is proven by the strong document and the statements of the Hunters themselves with a false sentence. “
FEC Fines ex-Rep. Hunter and Committee $16,000, Reveals Previously Secret Docs Source link FEC Fines ex-Rep. Hunter and Committee $16,000, Reveals Previously Secret Docs