When we last checked in with Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), things weren't going especially well for the GOP congressman. Hunter has been indicted for allegedly stealing campaign funds and clumsily trying to cover it up. As part of the case, prosecutors also alleged he illegally used contributions to help finance his extramarital affairs, including some with lobbyists.
The fact that the California Republican's wife has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors didn't help matters.
Two weeks ago, Hunter and his lawyer asked a federal judge to either relocate or dismiss the charges because prosecutors attended a 2015 fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. A judge balked after "it was revealed that Hunter's lead attorney had attended the same Democratic fundraiser he said biased prosecutors."
The same judge ruled that evidence of the congressman's adulterous relationships can be used against him in his criminal trial.
It was against this backdrop that Hunter decided last week to try to save himself -- by sending out bigoted campaign mailings.
Indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter is sending Islamophobic mail pieces to voters in his Southern California district, attacking his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, for his deceased grandfather alleged ties to a 1972 terrorist attack.The mailers show a photo of one of the terrorists involved in an attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics wearing a ski mask on one side, and photos of Campa-Najjar and Muslim Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, on the other. Campa-Najjar is Christian.
Hunter pushed a very similar smear last fall. CNN's Andrew Kaczynski noted at the time that the California Republican was "running one of the most openly anti-Muslim campaigns we've ever seen, with shameful smears of his opponent.... It's an anti-Muslim campaign against a person who isn't even Muslim."
Yesterday, in case Hunter weren't in enough trouble, he received a cease-and-desist letter from the Marines.
The Marine Corps has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., for using the official Corps emblem and phrase on campaign mailers that link his likely 2020 opponent and two Democratic congresswomen to terror.In a letter to Hunter obtained by NBC News, the Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office tells the congressman, "It has come to our attention that your campaign is using the official USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor (Emblem) and the phrase 'No Better Friend, NO Worse Enemy' (Phrase) as an integral part of your political campaign, namely, on at least one fundraising mailer to your constituents."The letter, dated Tuesday, demands that Hunter's campaign "immediately remove the Emblem and the Phrase from its mailers, and, without limitation, from all other campaign materials including websites and other instances where the Emblem or the Phrase are being used. We also request that you provide us with a timetable as to your compliance with our requests."
Hunter's criminal trial is scheduled to begin in September. I shudder to think what might unfold for him between now and then.