Inside the Trump Pardons: It Helps To Be a Man

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the pride of the Marine Corps, after pleading guilty to using campaign funds to pay for his extramarital affairs.Denis Poroy/ZUMA

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Two years ago Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted on charges of using campaign funds for personal business, including housing supplies, tuition for the kids, a family vacation to Italy, and more. Duncan, a former Marine officer, immediately threw Margaret under the bus, claiming that she had been his campaign manager and he had no idea what she was up to. Prosecutors, however, allege that Duncan not only knew what was going on, but had used campaign funds to pay for five different extramarital affairs between 2010 and 2016.

In 2019 Margaret and Duncan both pleaded guilty. In 2020 Margaret, who had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, was sentenced to eight months of house arrest, which she is currently serving. Duncan, who held out to the end and has been a vocal defender of Donald Trump, was sentenced to 11 months in prison starting in January. Two weeks ago, Margaret filed for divorce.

Yesterday, Trump pardoned Duncan, who will end up serving no time at all. Margaret is still under home confinement and has another four months left.

Boo yah.

POSTSCRIPT: In case you’re curious, Trump issued 15 pardons on Tuesday, all of them to men. He also commuted five sentences, three of them to women accused of small-time drug offenses.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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