Recap: Remember Duncan Hunter, the former US congressman who pleaded guilty to the misuse of over $250,000 of campaign funds on personal expenses, including $1,500 on Steam games? He was sentenced to 11 months in prison for his crimes but won’t spend any time behind bars after being pardoned by Donald Trump.
Hunter and his wife Margaret were indicted in 2018 for using campaign funds to pay for miscellaneous goods and services for themselves and their family between 2010 and 2016. In addition to hotels, overseas vacations, and plane tickets, the money went on everyday items such as groceries, utilities, and clothes. They also spent $500 on flying the family’s pet rabbit, Eggburt, across the country. What attracted gamers’ attention, of course, was the $1,528.68 (previously thought to be $1,302) spent on Steam titles.
Hunter claimed his teenage son was behind one Steam charge, while the others were from his efforts to block access to the platform, writes PC Gamer.
Margaret, who filed for divorce this month, pleaded guilty to the charges last year. She was sentenced to three years probation and eight months of house arrest in March 2020.
Hunter finally pleaded guilty to one count of misusing campaign funds in 2019. His 11-month prison sentence was due to begin in two weeks—January 4, 2021—after the original May 2020 date was postponed due to Covid-19. But he won’t be spending any time incarcerated.
As per Politico, Trump’s pardon of Hunter comes “at the request of many Members of Congress.” The White House adds that Hunter’s actions should have been dealt with as a civil case by the Federal Election Commission rather than in criminal court. It also notes that “Mr. Hunter has dedicated much of his adult life to public service,” highlighting his tours of Iraq and Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Marine Corp.
Last week, rumors claimed that Trump had been mulling over a pardon for Ross Ulbricht, but the Silk Road founder wasn’t one of the 15 pardons and commutations made by the president on December 22, neither was Hunter’s wife.