— Mimi Elkalla (@10NewsMimi) August 23, 2018
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) was greeted by protesters on Thursday as he arrived at a federal courthouse to plead not guilty on charges of misusing $250,000 worth of campaign funds.
Video shows Hunter’s rushed arrival at the courthouse as dozens of protesters stand chanting a version of the infamous “lock her up” line pioneered by President Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign–originally a reference to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump embraced the narrative of Clinton’s alleged criminality and even occasionally led the chants himself.
Upon taking office, however, the president immediately backtracked on potential criminal charges for Clinton, saying “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly.”
Now, the rhetorical jab has been reconfigured to fit the charges against Hunter, the second congressional Republican–and the first from California–to endorse Trump’s White House bid.
Above the din of the shouted slogans, Hunter was heard telling a reporter, “I feel good.” When asked a similar question about his wife, Hunter replied that she, too, was doing okay.
While inside the courthouse, Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, both pleaded not guilty to the 60 charges leveled against them by Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman.
The Hunters were charged with the crimes of conspiracy, wire fraud, prohibited use of campaign funds and falsification of campaign finance records.
Details of the charges read like something out of a cartoon script describing a corrupt congressman. According to the indictment, Hunter wanted to purchase a pair of “Hawaii shorts” for a round of golf in the Aloha State, but he was apparently out of money. The indictment notes:
[Margaret Hunter] counseled [Duncan Hunter] to buy the shorts at a golf pro shop so that they could falsely describe the purchase later as ‘some [golf] balls for the wounded warriors.’
On his way out of the courthouse, the chants against Hunter had shifted. Instead of the repurposed Trump night rally cry, the crowd of protesters shouted, in unison, “Shame on you.”
[image via Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images; video courtesy Mimi Elkalla]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]