Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Duncan Hunter
Pursuant to Committee Rule 7, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined on January 14, 2020, 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 on Ethics (Committee) announced that it was reviewing allegations referred by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) regarding Representative Duncan Hunter. The Committee also announced that because the Department of Justice (DOJ) had asked the Committee to defer its consideration of the matter, the Committee had followed precedent and voted unanimously to defer its review at that time. 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 DOJ.
Subsequently, 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 to determine whether Representative Hunter violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to allegations that he engaged in unlawful conspiracy, fraud, falsification of campaign finance records, and prohibited use of campaign contributions. At that time, DOJ had requested that the Committee continue to defer consideration of the matters in DOJ’s jurisdiction. The Committee unanimously recommended to the Investigative Subcommittee that it defer action as to those matters.
On May 3, 2019, in accordance with House Rule XI, clause 3, and Committee Rules 10(a)(2) and 18(e)(2), and following Committee precedent, the Committee announced it had unanimously voted to reestablish the Investigative Subcommittee in the 116th Congress. DOJ had requested that the Committee continue to defer consideration of the matters in DOJ’s jurisdiction. The Committee, again following precedent, unanimously recommended to the Investigative Subcommittee that it defer action as to those matters.
Representative Hunter pled guilty to one count of conspiring to convert campaign funds to personal use on December 3, 2019. Following Representative Hunter’s guilty plea, the Committee reminded Representative Hunter that, pursuant to House Rule XXIII, clause10(a), he should refrain from voting in the House. DOJ also withdrew its request for deferral and the Committee released OCE’s Findings.
The House received Representative Hunter’s notice of resignation on January 7, 2020, effective at the close of business on January 13, 2020. As a consequence, the Investigative Subcommittee and the Committee no longer have jurisdiction over him. The Committee considers this matter closed.
No other public statement will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.