An Intimate Look at Everything Duncan Hunter Allegedly Bought With Campaign Money

Golf, steaks, nights out with “Individual 14,” more golf.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) speaks during an interview at a call center on Nov. 6, 2018, in Santee, California. Denis Poroy/AP

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On the evening of Oct. 27, 2015, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) met up with a lobbyist he knew through the D.C. social scene at a political event held at the Hamilton Hotel in the nation’s capital. Theirs was a professional relationship; she had supported his congressional campaigns in the past, having organized fundraisers and events for him. “That night, however, was not about business,” prosecutors from the Department of Justice wrote in toe-curling prose in a motion filed on Tuesday.

Around 11 p.m., the two left the hotel together, going to her home to engage in “intimate personal activities unrelated to Hunter’s congressional campaign or duties as a member of Congress.” At 1:23 a.m., he left her house, using campaign funds to pay for $42 in Uber fares to do so. For now, she is known only as Individual 17, and she is not the only one featured in stories involving booze or vacations or late-night and early-morning Uber rides that all point to meetings of an “intimate” and “personal” nature. Apart from I-17, there is also an I-14, I-15, I-16, and I-18. None is his wife. 

“Without this evidence, the jury might be left to believe—wrongly—that Hunter’s ‘meetings’ with these women, and the associated expenditures, were work-related; after all, Hunter had professional connections to each of them. The intimate nature of these relationships is, in short, direct proof an essential element of the crimes charged in the indictment, and as such it must be admitted to show Hunter’s knowing illegal expenditures of campaign funds,” prosecutors wrote in making the case to admit their evidence, which they note is of a “voluminous nature” and includes eyewitness testimony, e-mails, text messages, phone logs, photographs, social media messages, and more.

The case against Duncan Hunter of the “Bros Caucus” is the gift that keeps on giving. The trial is scheduled for Sept. 10, and it promises to be every bit as entertaining as Tuesday’s filing. As a reminder: It was just three months after Hunter and his wife Margaret were hit with a 60-count indictment over allegedly misusing more than $250,000 in campaign funds that the voters of California’s 50th district reelected him—despite his inability to serve as a full-fledged members of Congress. Since the indictment landed, he’s been stripped of his committee assignments and isn’t even allowed to help craft bills.

But just because he’s had little official work to do doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. In April, he attempted—and somehow failed—to illegally cross the border into Mexico in an effort to show how dangerously porous it is. According to the Border Patrol, he was actually 100 meters off his mark, and that turned out to be a good thing for him because one of the conditions of his release was not to leave the continental United States. In May, and again in June, he admitted to war crimes while defending the Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, who has been charged with war crimes. Most recently, upon hearing the news that his wife Margaret had changed her plea from not guilty to guilty, he doubled down on previous claims that he is the target of a politicized Justice Department, that this is all the work of the so-called Deep State.  

Below, we’ve collected everything Hunter and/or his wife allegedly purchased using campaign funds. The list includes beer, golf, more golf, more beer, vacations, Uber rides to and from the various homes of various “individuals,” Walmart, steak houses, and Star Wars swag. Included in the top-line numbers but alas unenumerated is the $600 we know he spent on plane tickets for his pet rabbit, Eggburt. In all, the indictment is a portrait of the good life, as envisioned by the social chair of a particularly ambitious Phi Delt chapter. We’ll update as warranted.

First, the top-line numbers. All told, the Hunters “illegally converted and stole more than $250,000 in campaign funds” to pay for personal goods and services, according to the indictment. This amount included:

  • A family Thanksgiving vacation to Italy: $14,000
  • A family vacation to Hawaii: $6,500
  • A family vacation to Las Vegas and Boise: $3,700
  • A couples’ vacation to Las Vegas: $2,400
  • Vacations to Pittsburgh, London, Lake Tahoe, and Washington DC
  • Food and drinks for themselves and others at various restaurants including: Mister A’s, the Capital Grille, Olives–Bellagio, Spago, Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace, Sally’s Fish House & Bar, Blue Point Coastal, Island Prime, Harney Sushi, Lou & Mickey’s, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Jake’s Del Mar, Studio at the Montage, and Sonoma Restaurant
  • Stuff from Costco: $11,300
  • From Walmart: $5,700
  • From Barnes & Noble: $2,500
  • From Target: $2,300
  • From Michaels craft store: $2,200
  • Other stores including Aaron Brothers, Party City, World Market, Crate & Barrel, Pier 1, JC Penny, Sears, and Rite Aid
  • Beer, wine, alcohol, and groceries, for themselves and others, at stores including Vons, Albertsons, Haggen, and the Miramar Commissary: $9,000
  • Fast food, from In-N-Out, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, La Salsa, Pizza Hut, Rubio’ s, Domino’s Pizza, Wienerschnitzel, Panda Express, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: $3,300
  • Airline tickets and hotel rooms: $15,000

And here’s the itemized tab, according to the indictment. It begins in January 2010, with a vacation to the Sierras to see Individual 14:

  • Rental car to visit Individual 14 for a “personal ski trip”: $351.04
  • At the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino for food, drinks, and three nights lodging during said “personal ski trip”: $1,008
  • Children’s books and puzzles at Barnes & Noble: $85.18
  • Birchmere music hall for food and beer while attending a concert with Individual 14: $121.34
  • A room at La Quinta Resort: $181.12
  • A $257.40 reimbursement from campaign funds, claimed by Hunter for driving 468 miles to Virginia Beach for a date with Individual 14 and others, even though they did not use his car on the trip
  • Groceries at Albertsons: $64.72
  • An American Airlines ticket for Margaret’s sister: $226.40
  • A Target run for pillows, a ring pop, a white duck, and other items: $307.72
  • Gas purchased by Margaret Hunter before the campaign treasurer told her to stop: $8,181.57
  • Goods at 7-Eleven: $41.75
  • More groceries, beer, and tobacco at Albertsons: $32.31
  • A video game at the Apple Store: $41.04
  • A round of golf and beer on September 13, 2010: $164.29
  • Groceries from Miramar Commissary: $155.96
  • iMac computer: $1,199
  • Tickets for seven adults and five children to the play How the Grinch Stole Christmas: $704
  • A Pittsburgh Steelers game for several people: $1,912.66
  • Golf and sushi on February 5, 2011: $169.24
  • Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas: $103.57
  • An iPod Nano: $164.63
  • Golf and beer at the Riverwalk Golf Club: $110.63
  • Men’s Warehouse, to “re-cut” two pairs of pants: $142.36
  • A personal stay at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel with Individual 14: $162.02
  • Golf and clothing with Individual 14 on June 29, 2011: $253.56
  • Golf, beer, and food at the Cottonwood Golf Club for himself and others from 2010 to 2016: $881.60
  • Dinner at Sally’s Fish House and Bar: $148.90
  • Gifts at the International Spy Museum: $65.19
  • Tickets to the Del Mar Racetrack: $102
  • Five roundtrip tickets to Boise: $1,419
  • Dinner at Jake’s Del Mar: $113.73
  • Food and drinks during a day at the Del Mar Racetrack: $156.22
  • A family celebration at the Hotel del Coronado: $511.03
  • A Nikon CoolPix S9100 digital camera, plus battery and SD card: $399.06
  • Flights to Boise for a family member’s dance competition: $640.05
  • Family vacation in Los Angeles for a family member’s dance competition: $432.81
  • A rental car for said dance competition vacation: $344.56
  • A family vacation in and around Washington DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon (10K course) and attend the fall festival: $3,754.73
  • Medication at Vons: $25
  • Another dance competition: $168.89
  • A Costco trip: $98.05 (one of 29 such trips totaling $11,375.46)
  • A flight for Margaret Hunter’s sister and other family members to a funeral in Tucson (Margaret told the campaign treasurer this was actually for a “flight to Baltimore for NRCC winter meeting”): $918.60 
  • A United Airlines ticket for Margaret’s mother to fly to Chicago: $306.80, plus $39.96 in additional charges
  • Food and drinks at Blue Point Coastal and the Hyatt Andaz: $235.72
  • A family vacation at the Washington Hilton in Washington DC: ~$10,000
  • Birthday party supplies at Party City and Vons: $$323.62
  • A flight to New Orleans for Margaret’s sister and other family members: $1,276.80
  • Golf at the Riverwalk Golf Club (and later dinner at Asti Ristoranti) on June 9, 2012: $369.08
  • Food and booze at Safeway: $46.98
  • A trip to the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Prado restaurant: $259.31
  • Olive Garden: $105.28
  • Under Armour shorts: $59.26
  • Another dance competition trip: $445
  • Food and drinks at the Del Mar Racetrack: $310.45
  • Groceries and birthday party supplies at Vons: $92.13
  • A flight for a family friend to Washington DC: $541.16
  • Panda Express: $28.88
  • Golf at the Barona Creek Golf Resort on Nov. 23, 2012: $560
  • Cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s: $145.46
  • Goods at Walmart: $233.34 (one of 48 such occasions totaling $5,789.30
  • Dinner at Island Prime: $219.93
  • A jacket from Caves Valley Golf Club: $302.10
  • Sports headphones from Best Buy: $163.53
  • Uber rides to Individual 15’s home during July 2013: $36
  • iPhone accessories at the Apple Store: $138.19
  • Dinner at Casa De Pico: $100.69
  • iPhone camera lenses and other goods at Apple Store: $313.05
  • Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro: $238
  • Gloves and a car charger at Best Buy: $63.57
  • A family trip to watch a Pittsburgh Steelers game: $2,217.34
  • Drinks at Hill Country BBQ and an Uber ride with Individual 15: $64
  • Golf shoes from the Torrey Pines Golf Course: $99
  • Two rooms at the La Quinta Resort & Club: $1,386.48
  • Overdue balance on their cable subscription: $3,166.06
  • Food and drinks at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach for the couple and two friends in June 2014: $1,163.68
  • Uber rides between 2013 and 2016 to socialize with friends, including “Individual 15”: $990.60
  • A zipline ride and other fun times at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort: $1,067
  • A reimbursement, paid to Margaret, for a personal meal: $201.38
  • Airline tickets for a nephew: $187.60
  • Golf, food, and drinks at the Rancho Bernardo Golf Resort on Oct. 22, 2014: $204.34
  • Golf at Sycuan Golf Resort on Nov. 5, 2014: $138
  • Airline charges for Margaret’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend: $211
  • Groceries and supplies for a party from Vons: $215.40
  • An evening at the Hotel del Coronado and Tent City: $200.24
  • More family groceries and supplies from Vons: $411.19
  • Margaret received $800.33 in campaign funds by falsely claiming she paid hotel charges with her personal card
  • A flight to Hawaii: $413
  • School lunches at Ki’s School Lunches: $1,372.55 over two years
  • More food and drinks at Sally’s Fish House and Bar: $258.95
  • 82 instances in 2015 of spending campaign money on Steam video games: $1,528.68
  • A reimbursement, paid to Margaret from the campaign, for a personal night out: $438.48 
  • In March 2015, Margaret Hunter counseled Duncan to buy shorts “at a golf pro shop so that they could falsely describe the purchase later as ‘some [golf] balls for the wounded warriors,’” and instructed him to take out $100 in petty cash from his work account
  • Later, Hunter spent $99.60 on groceries at Vons and received $100 back in cash
  • Family vacation to Aston Kaanapali Shores: $6,288.74
  • Airline tickets for Margaret’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend to fly to Poland: $995.50
  • Dinner and drinks at Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop: $869.26
  • Mother’s Day brunch tickets at the Hotel del Coronado: $999.68
  • Personal dinner with Individual 16 at H Street Country Club: $202.70
  • Overdue balance for family dental work: $1,137
  • An evening at Matchbox with Individual 16 and others: $352.60
  • Golf at Renditions Golf Course on June 13, 2015: $87.69
  • A family vacation to Boise for a nephew’s wedding, with a stopover in Las Vegas: $3,724.07
  • More toward the family’s overdue balance for dental work: $700
  • Movie tickets: $87.50
  • Hunter withdrew $300 in campaign funds before hitting the Del Mar Racetrack, one of 26 such occasions totaling more than $4,800 in cash
  • Food, drinks, and tickets to—yes, again—the Del Mar Racetrack: $362.06
  • Drinks at a speakeasy with Individual 15 and an Uber ride: $114.91
  • Family groceries at Albertsons: $186.58 plus $100 cash back
  • More dental work backpay: $700
  • Payment to the local water utility after it threatened to shut off their water due to unpaid bills: $300
  • The family’s tuition bill at Christian Unified Schools: $6,150 over three payments in 2015
  • Running shoes and other items at Dick’s Sporting Goods: $216.50
  • Haircuts and other services at Regis Hair Salon: $99.53
  • Cosmetics from Nordstrom: $152.25
  • Golf at the Riverwalk Golf Club on Aug. 27, 2015: $276.84
  • Various items at Michaels craft store: $2,264 over 14 different occasions between 2010 and 2015
  • Entry to a dance competition: $140
  • Two rooms at the Westin LAX: $402.90
  • Star Wars and Minnie Mouse paraphernalia at Disney’s Star Trader shop: $229.44
  • Food, drinks, and other items at the Westin LAX for a family member’s dance competition: $219.23
  • Utilities bill for the Hunter family home: $1,268
  • Uber rides to and from Individual 17’s home: $42.36
  • Personal dinner at Jake’s Del Mar, again: $223.32
  • A three-piece luggage set for the family vacation to Italy: $286.41
  • Family vacation to Italy from Nov. 19–29, 2015: $14,261.33
  • Ice skating with the family at the Hotel del Coronado: $291.64
  • Food and drinks at Lou & Mickey’s: $677.42
  • Golf at Mount Woodson Golf Club on Jan. 3, 2016: $140.62
  • Family tickets to see Riverdance at the San Diego Civic Theater: $835.50
  • Golf at Barona Creek Golf Resort on January 9, 2016: $276.15
  • A visit to SeaWorld: $418.99
  • A family vacation at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa for yet another dance competition: $3,489.25
  • A family dance competition vacation to the Hyatt Regency Orange County: $961.24
  • Drinks at Jack Rose Dining Saloon: $354.25
  • 30 shots of tequila and one steak at El Tamarindo restaurant: $462.46
  • Food and drinks at Stoney’s Bar and Restaurant with Duncan’s brother: $127.56
  • Food and drinks at Fado’s Irish Pub: $220.63
  • Clothing at Emerald City Surf Shop: $360.58
  • Lunch at Duke’s Restaurant with family and friends: $203.20
  • A garage door for the Hunter’s personal residence: $1,200
  • Flight for a nephew to fly from Philadelphia to New Orleans: $668.20
  • Gaming keyboard and mouse at Best Buy: $271.22
  • Drinks at Busboys and Poets with Individual 17 and others: $130.10
  • A room at the Liaison Capitol Hill: $865.63
  • Golf at the Riverwalk Golf Club on March 24, 2016: $145.55
  • Easter Sunday Brunch in the Crown Room of the Hotel del Coronado: $669.07
  • More movie tickets: $38.20
  • Household and decorative items from Home Depot: $1,831.63 over nine occasions
  • Dinner and drinks with Duncan’s mother at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House: $560.90
  • Room at the Holiday Inn Express in Picayune, Miss.: $265.94
  • Good times with friends at L’Hommage Bistro Francais: $409.45
  • Another meal at Sally’s Fish House and Bar: $441.63
  • Dinner at LG’s Prime Steakhouse: $592.63
  • An Uber ride from Individual 18’s home to Duncan’s office: $32.27
  • A personal night out at Blue Point Coastal: $339.18
  • Golf at the Sandpiper Golf Club on October 13, 2016: $300
  • Appetizers and drinks at Pinzimini restaurant: $111.18
  • A birthday party at Searsucker restaurant: $300
  • From 2009 through 2016, the Hunters overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times, resulting in more than $37,700 in “overdraft” and “insufficient funds” bank fees.
  • Meanwhile, between 2010 and 2017, the campaign paid Margaret Hunter $116,000 for “management services,” “consulting,” and “salary,” and she had access to campaign funds through debit cards, credit cards, and reimbursements for funds expended on behalf of the campaign



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This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

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