Anti-LGBT Congressman (And Wife) Indicted On Campaign Finance Violations, Wire Fraud & More

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter

 Virulently anti-LGBTQ Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter was indicted Tuesday, along with his wife Margaret, on charges of misusing campaign funds to the tune of $250,000.

Charges also included filing false campaign finance records to the Federal Election Commission.

CNN has the details:

The charges of wire fraud, falsifying records, campaign finance violations and conspiracy were the culmination of a Department of Justice investigation that has stretched for more than a year, during which the Republican congressman from California has maintained his innocence.

Republican Party leaders had long worried that with a potential indictment looming, Hunter’s traditionally safe district which makes up much of eastern San Diego County could be at risk of Democratic takeover in November’s midterm election.

The CNN report goes on to share that the congressman and his wife overdrew their bank accounts over 1,100 times in a 7 year period.

Investigators found the Hunters took several lavish family vacations including “a 2015 family vacation in Italy over Thanksgiving totaling more than $14,000; an April vacation in Hawaii costing $6,500; and a $3,700 trip to Las Vegas and Boise in July 2015.”

There were also big-ticket “campaign expenditures” like a $2,000 trip for a family member to attend a Pittsburgh Steelers football game in 2010.

Hunter allegedly insisted his wife be paid $116,000 from 2010 to 2017 as a “campaign consultant.”

According to The Washington Examiner, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has now stripped Hunter of his committee assignments.

“The charges against Rep. Hunter are deeply serious,” Ryan said. “The Ethics Committee deferred its investigation at the request of the Justice Department.”

“Now that he has been indicted, Rep. Hunter will be removed from his committee assignments pending the resolution of this matter,” Ryan added.

While Hunter represents a solidly Republican district, his Democratic opponent, Campa-Najjar, has been out-fundraising the Republican, reporting more than $1 million in campaign donations. Campa-Najjar has just over $200,000 in cash-on-hand while Hunter has over $350,000.

The California congressman has been viciously anti-LGBTQ for years and was one of the most strident voices against the repeal of DADT in 2011 and strongly supported the hideous Defense of Marriage Act.

Hunter was the second member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president. The first was Rep. Chris Collins (R) of New York.

Both now face prison time.

GOP Congressman Michael Grimm to be indicted for campaign finance violations

Congressman Michael Grimm

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn and his lawyer is in plea talks with prosecutors, according to people familiar with the case. The indictment is expected to be unsealed in the coming days.

Grimm’s attorney, William McGinley declined to comment other than a written statement: “We are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised. From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth. Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing.”

McGinley says Grimm plans to continue serving in Congress.

Questions about Grimm’s campaign finance activities began almost as soon as he arrived in Washington. The House Ethics Committee launched a formal inquiry into Grimm’s campaign finance activities in 2012, but announced at the time that it would defer to the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation.

Grimm famously made national headlines when he threatened a television reporter who asked about the allegations of wrongdoing against him.
With cameras rolling, the reporter attempted to ask his question and
Grimm walked off camera, but then returned and threatened to throw the
reporter over a balcony.

(from the Washington Post)

GOP Congressman Michael Grimm apologizes to reporter after threatening to “break him in half”

Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm

Last night, after President Obama’s State of the Union address, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto interviewed Staten Island Republican Congressman Michael Grimm to get his response to the address.

Scotto followed up with questions regarding an ongoing federal investigation into Grimm’s campaign contributions. The congressman quickly said he wasn’t going to speak “off-topic” and departed.

Scotto reported back to the studio, in a live shot, that Grimm “does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances.” After Scotto’s live shot was completed, Grimm approached him and threatened to “throw [him] off this f—— balcony” and “break you in half. Like a boy.” Transcript of the exchange:

GRIMM: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”

SCOTTO: Why? I just wanted to ask you…

GRIMM: If you ever do that to me again…

SCOTTO: Why? Why? It’s a valid question.

GRIMM: No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.

As the heated moment began to dominate the twitterverse into the evening, Grimm released a non-apology saying the reporter had taken a disrespectful “cheap shot” that prompted him to become “annoyed:”

“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests,” Grimm said in the statement.

“The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.”

Today, Grimm has issued an apology to Scotto.  Grimm also said that he and Scotto would be going out to lunch soon.

“I was wrong,” Grimm said in the statement. “I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool. I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon.”

Scotto later tweeted that he accepted Grimm’s apology.

https://twitter.com/mikescotto/status/428560145942319105

This is probably a good example of “how NOT to draw more attention to a ongoing  federal investigation.

(source)

Conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza indicted on violation of campaign finance laws

Dinesh D’Souza

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Federal authorities accuse D’Souza of donating more than is legal to the campaign of Wendy Long, who ran in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton but lost to now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Long, though, is not mentioned in an indictment obtained by THR on Thursday.

Insiders say D’Souza has been friends with Long since they attended Dartmouth College together in the early 1980s. According to the indictment, D’Souza donated $20,000 to Long’s campaign by aggregating the money from various people and falsely reporting the source of the funds. But Gerald Molen, a co-producer of 2016, says the charge is politically motivated.

“In America, we have a long tradition of not doing what is commonly done in too many other countries — criminalizing dissent through the selective enforcement of the law,” Molen tells THR.

Molen alleges the funneling of $20,000 through several different individuals is “an alleged minor violation.”

Molen and D’Souza issued this statement: “We believe this is an unfortunate misunderstanding arising out of Dinesh D’Souza’s desire to help the uphill campaign of a friend. There was no intent to do anything illegal or corrupt in any way.”

An attorney for D’Souza – Benjamin Brafman – says that his client “did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever … at worst this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”

“Misguided friendship?”

Because, you know, a man as wealthy and smart as Dinesh D’Souza would have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER that it’s illegal to give money to several different individuals to donate to his preferred political candidate.

NO IDEA WHATSOEVER.

I’m also sure he has no idea about the reality status of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny…

In addition to the above, this Christian activist was fired from his position of President by King’s College last year after he appeared at an event with his “fiance” while still married to another woman.

Illegal campaign contributions, “fiances” while still married…

Values, folks. Values.