Otherwise known as Rep. Duncan Hunter grifting out the string in 2019…
Duncan Hunter’s 2019: No committee assignments, just the opportunity to run his mouth and vote against bills helping voters in California’s 50th Congressional District. And oh, by the way, a date with a U.S. District Court judge on Sept. 10.
Hunter held on to his 50th district seat by just four percentage points in November. This in one of the reddest districts, if not the reddest district in California where 2018 voter registration was 40 percent Republican, 27 percent Democrat and 27 percent undeclared.
Since his federal indictments for misusing at least $250,000 of campaign money on lavish dinners, trips and gifts, Hunter has had to step down from the House committees he served on, although he initially refused before being pressured to do so by then-House Speaker Paul Ryan.
However, Hunter’s latest chief of staff Michael Harrison — his longtime chief Joe Kasper resigned in 2017 to avoid implication in the Hunter fraud scheme backlash — says the congressman from griftville’s “legal issues” won’t distract him from fulfilling his “duties.”
“There’s still a number of things that he’ll be able to do as a sitting member of Congress,” Harrison said. “He can introduce legislation, he can sign on to letters, we can bring attention to the issues that we think deserve that attention.”
Harrison said Hunter “has no plans” to step down from office.
Hunter, and his wife Margaret, could face 21 months to five years of incarceration if convicted, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In that case, a series of possibilities could play out, the most likely would be his resignation.
“I suspect if Hunter is convicted,” said Matt Glassman of Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute, “he’s not coming back to Washington.”
Should Hunter refuse to step aside — shall we say — gracefully, he could be expelled from Congress. Considering the Democratic majority and slew of unsympathetic Republican representatives who loathe Hunter as a member of the so-called “Bro Caucus” of day drunk slackers, it would be bye Felicia time for the good old boy from Alpine.
Duncan Hunter — pre-prison edition
As Hunter continues his tenuous grapplehold of a government meal ticket for as long as he can, he continues to dodge public forums, but has occasional spasms of activity, all of it objectionable.
Hunter on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, defended the controversial Navy Seal indicted for killing an Islamic State fighter who had surrenderd and was in the process of being treated for injuries by Navy medics in Iraq along with a slew of other alleged war crimes. Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher was arraigned that day at Naval Base San Diego.
Military prosecutors contend that Gallagher, 39, is a callous murderer who stabbed to death the defenseless teenage detainee on May 3, 2017, near the Iraqi city of Mosul and also gunned down unwitting civilians with his sniper rifle, bragged about racking up kills and threatened to intimidate and publicly out SEAL buddies who complained to superiors and investigators about him.
Investigative files leaked to Navy Times revealed authorities probing allegations that Gallagher mutilated the teenage prisoner’s dead body, posed with the corpse during a re-enlistment ceremony and attempted to cover up the alleged crimes when he returned to California.
“I am significantly concerned that this is another example of the over-aggressiveness of the Navy JAG Corps showing its bias against our warfighters,” Duncan said in a prepared statement.
“Due to the verifiable political nature of the Navy’s justice system,” Hunter continued, ” believe that Chief Gallagher’s matter needs to be taken away from the Navy and President Trump himself needs to personally review and dismiss this case, taking an American hero out of a prison cell and [putting him] back on the front lines where he belongs.”
Pretty rich, Hunter critiquing NCIS prosecutors when he himself is under criminal prosecution for campaign finance fraud. Also, considering Hunter lost his federal security clearance due to his felony indictment.
“I will introduce legislation to ensure this situation is not repeated,” Hunter said in his prepared statement. “South American criminal illegal aliens are provided with better access to legal representation than our nation’s elite warriors because bureaucratic lawyers in the Navy justice system see this situation as an opportunity to make their name and advance their career.”
As for Hunter’s congressional duties…What we worry?
House Democrats on Friday, Jan. 4 unveiled ethics legislation that would go far beyond the new rules they passed a night earlier, which block indicted lawmakers such as Hunter and Rep. Chris Collins from serving on House committees and bar all House members from serving on boards of public corporations as Collins has.
While the measure passed late Thursday merely sets the rules for the new House to follow, the bill announced Friday offers a dramatic reform of American politics.
The measure would create public financing for House campaigns, implement automatic voter registration, bolster campaign finance reporting requirements, end the partisan shaping of congressional districts and require presidential candidates to release 10 years of their tax returns.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the bill responds to public demand for a cleaner government.”Restoring the peoples’ faith in government is really our agenda,” she said.
Democrats hope to push the legislation through the committee system and in February bring it to the House floor, where it is likely to pass on a partisan vote.
Republicans late last year passed a similar caucus rule barring representatives under federal indictment from serving on committees.
The future, Carnac the Magnificent?
Since all that’s left Hunter is running his mouth and introducing legislation, he’s got what the little boy shot at, nothing.
Unwilling to hold public events open to ALL his constituents, and not just die-hards at undisclosed locations, Hunter this year has posted on social media about his support of alleged war criminal Gallagher, appeared on a right-wing raido show, and and and…that’s about all folks.
Here’s looking at a new year when, in the case of Hunter, fall and his fall can’t come soon enough.
When Hunter is convicted, he can be removed from Congress by expulsion, which is uncommon, but not unheard of. It’s occurred five times in the House, the last time in 2002 when Rep. James Traficant, an Ohio Democrat, was convicted of racketeering and other felonies.
In the Senate, there have been 15 expulsions since 1789. Fourteen of the senators were expelled for supporting the Confederacy.
Other than expulsion, according to the Los Angeles Times, the House can censure or reprimand a member. In 1979, for example, Charles Diggs of Michigan was censured after he was convicted on 11 counts of mail fraud and 18 counts of making false statements.
Censure requires members to stand at the well of the House — the area in front of the rostrum — to receive a formal and public disapproval, and they are typically stripped of committee duties. Reprimand often comes in the form of a letter or private meeting.
If Hunter were convicted and needed to be replaced, it would mean a special election. In California, a special election is typically called within 14 days to fill a House seat. The election is held 126 to 140 days after the election proclamation. That means a vacant seat could remain empty for quite some time.
Ammar Campa-Najjar, the 29-year-old former Obama Labor Department spokesman who barely lost to Hunter in 2018, already has announced plans to file for the next election to replace Hunter, special or otherwise. On the Republican side, Temecula mayor Matt Rahn has said he will run against Hunter as well.