A federal grand jury indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and his wife on Tuesday evening on charges of misusing $250,000 of campaign funds for personal expenses.
Hunter, the scion of a Southern California political dynasty, represents the state’s 50th congressional district, which includes eastern San Diego County and parts of Riverside County. He was among the first members of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump.
He has been under investigation for several months, though he has been favored to win re-election in November.
His Democratic opponent is Ammar Campa-Najjar, the grandson of a Palestinian terrorist, Muhammad Yusuf al-Najjar. The elder al-Najjar was killed by Israel in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1973 in a raid targeting the perpetrators of the terror attack at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
Campa-Najjar said in a statement earlier this year, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post: “As many know, I am of Mexican and Palestinian descent. And like many American families, my heritage bears a heartbreaking history. Palestinians and Israelis have lost too much over the years of bloodshed, that’s why I am committed to helping broker a lasting peace in my lifetime.”
It is not clear whether Hunter can withdraw from the race for his seat. California’s “jungle primary” system allows the top two finishers in the primary election to advance to the general election, regardless of party. The California Republican Party has no particular claim on Hunter’s place in the general election.
Republican Bill Wells (12.9%) finished a distant third in the June 5 primary behind Hunter (47.4%) and Campa-Najjar (17.6%).
The Hunters’ indictment came on the same evening as the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on bank fraud and tax evasion charges, and the guilty plea of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on similar charges, plus campaign finance violations.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.