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These Are Not Very Bright Etc.

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Donald Trump essentially confessed to committing a felony under the not-exactly-intense scrutiny of Fox & Friends questioning:

A brief segment of a Fox & Friends interview released this afternoon by Fox News features President Donald Trump repeatedly emphasizing that the hush money payments at the center of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea were not made with campaign funds. There’s just one problem: That doesn’t exonerate him at all.

In context, Trump appears to be trying to say that this exonerates him, but the opposite is the case — you can’t just evade campaign finance rules by paying for your campaign expenses with non-campaign funds. If you could, the rules would be meaningless.

One thing that politicians sometimes get into legal trouble for is illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses. This is part of the case against Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and the basic idea is that you’re not supposed to use campaign money as a personal piggy bank or slush fund.

A separate issue, however, is that while a private citizen is free to make a secret hush money payment to his former mistress if he likes, a political campaign is required to disclose what it’s spending money on.

Whoops!

Speaking of Duncan Hunter, his indictment is basically a second history of the Second Gilded Age. There are more amazing details beyond the ones Erik discussed yesterday:

5. Margaret Hunter allegedly spent $152 on makeup at Nordstrom and told the campaign it was “gift basket items for the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Diego.”

6. Another $394 from Macy’s was listed as “gift baskets for local organizations.”

7. In an attempt to justify spending campaign funds on a family trip to Italy, Hunter asked a naval base there for a tour. When officials said they couldn’t do it then, Hunter said, “Tell the Navy to go f— themselves.”

8. They allegedly described the payment of their family dental bills as a charitable contribution to “Smiles for Life.”

9. Margaret Hunter allegedly bought plane tickets for her mother and her mother’s boyfriend to go to Warsaw. She told the campaign it was for events in New Orleans and Kentucky.

10. Hunter allegedly used campaign funds to go a personal ski trip to Lake Tahoe when his family bank account had a negative balance and his personal bank account had $35. (He withdrew $20 from his personal bank account while there, the indictment alleges.)

There’s more!

They dropped more than $14,000 on a family vacation in Italy. They racked up $3,300 at In-N-Out, Carl’s Jr, Taco Bell and other fast-food restaurants. Over the years, prosecutors allege, Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, picked up Fandango movie tickets, a $250 airplane ride for the family rabbit, video games and vitamins from Costco — and once, 30 tequila shots for a bachelor party.

Still, Hunter’s indictment is just a witch hunt by the Deep State (TM) and President Hillary Clinton’s Department of Justice.

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