Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

Last week, prosecutors in the case against Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-California), who's accused of illegally spending buttloads of campaign cash on personal expenses, documented that Hunter used his campaign's credit card to pay for affairs with five (5) women he wasn't exactly married to. The details of spending on hotels, late-night Uber rides, and other stuff -- enough for a pretty good weekend in Vegas -- were necessary, prosecutors said, to show the spending had no legitimate campaign purpose. The government further hinted there was even more "Additional Potentially Sensitive Conduct" that might be filed under seal, so as to prevent tainting the jury pool. You never want to mess with the jurors' taints.

In a court filing Friday, lawyers for Hunter argued the government had no business mentioning the extramarital nug-a-nug; after all, he was making the beast with two backs with several lobbyists, a congressional staffer, and an aide in his office and therefore the fadoodling-related expenses were legitimate campaign expenditures, because Duncan Hunter cares so much about The People's business that even his trysts count as politicking. Yes, they really are arguing these weren't illegal personal expenses because Hunter was hard at work.

We have to admit we're impressed that someone typed this with a straight face on behalf of Hunter, the family-values kind of guy:

In its quest to highlight the intimate nature of these relationships, the Government fails to meaningfully consider the fact that, just as with Mr. Hunter's platonic relationships, his friendships often blur the line between personal and professional, which is a widespread occurrence in modern politics. However unpopular the notion of a married man mixing business with pleasure, the Government cannot simply dismiss the reality that Mr. Hunter's relationships with Individual's 14-18 often served an overtly political purpose that would not have existed irrespective of his occupation.

If it may please the court, I will show that my client's bedfellows were not at all strange, and we reject your puritanical notion that fucking precludes legitimate political activities.

The filing even attempts to do some jujitsu to the prosecutors' justification for mentioning the affairs at all. In its motion to admit the evidence, filed earlier last week, the government anticipated Hunter might try to argue that he was simply pursuing legitimate acts of sexual congress, and sought to put such claims under a cold shower:

Precisely because each of the women worked as lobbyists or congressional staffers, Hunter may suggest that he was justified in spending campaign funds on all of his "meetings" with these individuals. Evidence of the intimate, entirely personal quality of Hunter's specific encounters with these women is essential to demonstrate that his spending to facilitate those encounters was improper.

Aha, says the response -- since the prosecution team figured Hunter would make that claim, then obviously the government "implicitly concedes that Mr. Hunter was justified in spending campaign funds on at least some of his meetings with these individuals," so there, and that means you can't say the expenses were personal, QED. Further, Hunter's lawyers argue the government's emphasis on all those dalliances is the worst sort of cherry-picking, if you know what I mean and I think you do:

While strategically emphasizing the costs incurred in connection with Mr. Hunter's "romantic liaisons" and "intimate affairs" the Government conveniently minimizes the fact that nearly every expense it references in its Motion was incurred in connection with a legitimate political activity.

You're goddamn right he called the Code Lady In Red -- for America!

The filing then goes on to argue, on somewhat more conventional grounds, that the inclusion of sexytimes evidence would unfairly bias the jury against Hunter, since having an affair or five is not a crime, and he's not accused of having an affair, so why even mention the affairs he spent a lot of campaign money on?

Besides, in the case of 13 other people with whom the government accuses Hunter of blowing campaign money, the prosecution didn't feel compelled to say whether or not those connections were "intimate," so how is it fair to even focus at all on the cases where boinking was involved? For instance, Hunter paid for a round of golf with one person, but the prosecution seems fine with calling that a personal use of campaign funds -- "without mentioning whether or not Mr. Hunter ever engaged in any intimate activities" with that person. Which now makes us wonder what kind of foursome may have been involved, and whether Hunter ever got into the rough.

Comes right down to it, the response insists, there's no need to mention sexxing at all, because it's just a big distraction from the legitimate political business Hunter conducted, between the sheets. If you can't prove it was a "personal expense" without getting so personal, then you people must have a really weak case, and you're just trying to besmirch a good man and his five (5) lovers for no reason at all:

[The] Government is perfectly capable of describing the nature Mr. Hunter's relationship with individuals 14-18 and presenting its case as to why the related expenditures constituted a personal use of campaign funds without informing the jury that Mr. Hunter also "engaged in intimate personal activities" with these individuals. While this salacious evidence provides welcomed fodder for the media, as evidenced by the attention this Motion received from both national and local news outlets, its questionable probative value is substantially outweighed by the unquestionable danger of unfair prejudice to Mr. Hunter.

We suppose Hunter's attorneys at least deserve one of those "An Effort Was Made" memes.

In addition, Team Hunter filed a motion for a change of venue away from the Southern District of California, since clearly there's been a tsunami of negative coverage of his case and besides, San Diego County voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, proving Hunter could never get a fair trial. Noting that the internet exists, especially in Southern California, the motion frets, "Potential jurors are just a keystroke away from hundreds of thousands of press articles and blog postings online, most if not all of a very negative nature." Clearly, computers outside Cali's Southern District are not nearly as able to click on such thing.

To get a true jury of his peers, the filing argues, the trial should be held in the Eastern District, where people overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump, and would therefore be more impartial, don't you see?

We enjoyed reading the government's response to the venue request, which essentially told Hunter to eat a bag of dicks, because for one thing, he provides little evidence -- beyond "a handful of editorials by a single newspaper" -- to show the jury pool is poisoned. For another, it's a bit difficult to argue the entire area has been turned against Hunter, seeing as how voters sent him back to Congress in 2018 despite the fact that he was under indictment. That inspired the prosecutors to what, for a court filing, amounts to a riot of wordplay:

Moreover, in highlighting these negative newspaper articles, Hunter buries the headline: he was reelected to Congress after the indictment was filed and most of the media coverage he cites was published. A congressman on trial in the very federal district where he was popularly elected less than a year earlier stands a far better chance of an impartial jury than all of the following defendants, whose motions to transfer venue were denied [...]

Like for instance the CEO of Enron, the Boston bombers, Cliven Bundy, and other notables, including a dude who "bombed the very courthouse where Hunter will be tried." So nah, you probably can't claim your case is "more notorious."

We look forward to seeing how all this turns out, especially if Hunter's five lady friends are called to testify, which should lead to some interesting questions about how much horizontal political activity was involved on the nights in question, and whether any of the manwhoring actually took place in a lobby.

[Motion to Admit Evidence / Response in Opposition [for Hunter] / Motion for Change of Venue / Response in Opposition [for United States] / Buzzfeed]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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