Republicans preparing to remove indicted GOP congressman from committee assignments

PHOTO: Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol, Feb. 15, 2018.PlayBill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP
WATCH Republican congressman indicted, allegedly spent campaign money on lavish trips

House Republicans plan to take action against indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter in September after the congressman and his wife were charged Tuesday with using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, including family vacations, clothing, school tuition and utilities.

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Because Hunter is refusing to give up his committee assignments following the indictment, the House GOP Steering Committee will move to strip him of his assignments on the House Education, Armed Services and Transportation Committees, teeing up a vote on the House floor in September, according to a House Republican source familiar with the process.

In an interview with ABC affiliate KGTV, ahead of a fishing trip with a veterans group in California, Hunter dismissed the charges against him as "politically motivated," and repeated that he plans to run for reelection.

Hunter, who was one of the first Republicans in Congress to endorse President Trump's White House bid in 2016, accused federal prosecutors of harboring a political agenda against him, linking his case to Trump's criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"It's happening with Trump and it's happening with me," he said. "And we're going to fight through it and we're going to win."

Short of a court order, there's no way to remove Hunter from the ballot in November, according to the California secretary of state's office. And because write-ins aren't permitted, Hunter will be the only Republican on the ballot in his district in November.

The former Marine, who replaced his father - former House Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter - in Congress, easily won his June primary against Democrat and former Obama administration official Ammar Campa-Najjar, whom he will face once again in November.

Hunter is the second House Republican to be indicted this month, after Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican and another early Trump supporter, and his son, were charged with insider trading.

Collins is not planning to seek reelection.