Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Duncan Hunter

Dec 9, 2019

Pursuant to Committee Rule 7, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined on December 9, 2019, to release the following statement regarding the Investigative Subcommittee in the Matter of Representative Duncan Hunter:

In the 115th Congress, on March 23, 2017, the Committee announced that it was reviewing allegations referred by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) regarding Representative Duncan Hunter.  The Committee also announced that, following precedent, it had voted unanimously to defer its review at the request of the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Accordingly, pursuant to Committee Rule 17A(h)(1), the Committee made OCE’s Report but not its Findings public at that time.  On March 23, 2018, the Committee announced that it was continuing to defer its consideration of the matter at the request of the DOJ.

On August 21, 2018, Representative Hunter was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, falsifying campaign finance records, prohibited use of campaign contributions, and false statements.  On September 6, 2018, the Committee unanimously voted to establish an Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) into the allegations raised in the indictment and recommended the ISC defer action on its investigation at the request of the DOJ.  On May 3, 2019, the Committee announced the ISC had been re-authorized for the 116th Congress, and that it continued to recommend deferral at the request of the DOJ.

On December 3, 2019, Representative Hunter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to misuse campaign funds. The DOJ has now withdrawn its request that the Committee defer consideration of this matter.  Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(B)(iii) and Committee Rule 17A(f)(2), if an ISC does not conclude its review before the end of the Congress in which the report of the Board is made public, the Committee shall make public any findings of the Board on the last day of that Congress, but the Committee is not required to make such a release when deferring action at the request of appropriate law enforcement.  Because deferral is no longer requested and the last day of the Congress in which OCE’s Report was made public has passed, the Committee is making public OCE’s Findings in this matter.