North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate and Army Reserve lieutenant colonel Cal Cunningham may have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice with his extramarital sexting with a married public relations executive, according to reports.
Cunningham’s sexting with the publicist, who is married to an Army combat veteran, was first reported by NationalFile.com on Thursday. As the outlet reported:
Cunningham refers to Guzman Todd in the text messages below as ‘historically sexy,’ imagines kissing her, says he has been dreaming ‘of our time together,’ and the two plan for Cunningham to make up an excuse for his family and ditch a staffer so the two can meet and, in Guzman Todd’s words, ‘kiss a lot.’ Guzman Todd says she wants ‘a night with you’ and Cunningham agrees that he wants that too. Guzman Todd says that ‘the only thing I want on my to do list is you’ and Cunningham says that ‘Sounds so hot and so fun!’
The texts were not dated, but in one text, Cunningham said he was “nervous about the next 100 days” in reference to the November 3 election.
Cunningham, a 47-year-old father of two, admitted the texts were authentic in a statement: “I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry.”
But Cunningham still faces questions over whether he could face punishment under the UCMJ, since he is a currently serving lieutenant colonel and extramarital affairs are punishable under the UCMJ.
According to McClatchy, whether Cunningham could face charges under the UCMJ may depend upon whether he was on active duty at the time the extramarital activity took place.
“If these messages were not sent when he was in duty status they are not punishable under the UCMJ,” said Eugene R. Fidell, a former U.S. Coast Guard judge advocate and current adjunct professor at NYU Law School, told the outlet.
Cunningham is a military lawyer assigned to the 134th Legal Operations Detachment at Fort Bragg for U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command.
Breitbart News has reached out to the U.S. Army Reserve for comment on whether Cunningham’s messages are being looked into, and whether he could face punishment, and is awaiting a response.
Cunningham has made his military career a focus of his campaign against incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).
The public relations executive with whom Cunningham exchanged messages is Arlene Guzman Todd, whose husband is Jeremy Todd, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 19 years and deployed to combat five times, according to a change.org petition.
The couple have two children together and live in Southern California, according to Heavy.com. As a student at the University of Southern California in 2016, Todd was profiled in an article posted to the university’s website, in which he praised his wife.
My wife carried me through. She is really the superhero in all this. The wives are the unsung heroes of the military, the spouses that deal with everything. Without good wives and family, I don’t think soldiers would be successful in their missions and everything they do.
Cunningham on Monday backed out of a debate with Tillis, according to the WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii, who was slated to moderate it.
I’m disappointed for the organizers who worked hard to put this together; also that we will not hear from Cunningham about sexually suggestive texts he sent to a woman (not his wife, nor mother of his children). Fascinated to see when he publicly addresses this..#ncpol #29days
— Jeff Tiberii (@j_tibs) October 5, 2020
Breitbart News reached out to Cunningham’s Campaign Manager, Devan Barber, for a comment but did not receive a response.