Criminals don’t deserve pardons

California's Rep. Duncan Hunter has admitted to treating campaign donations as personal slush funds to pay for video games, dog food, private school tuition for kids, hotel rooms for his mistress and all sorts of other personal expenses. President Trump's pardon means he'll never see the inside of a cell for such crimes.

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Editorials

December 28, 2020 - 9:15 AM

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R.-Calif., after his guilty plea in Federal Court on Dec. 3, 2019 in San Diego. Photo by (Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

Once again, President Donald Trump has decided to squander the value of the presidential pardon in order to reward allies and score political points. On Tuesday, the White House announced five commutations and 15 pardons, including a full pardon for disgraced former U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

It’s hard to think of a recent political figure less deserving of a presidential pardon than Hunter.

For years, a growing trail of evidence showed that Hunter had treated campaign donations as personal slush funds to pay for video games, dog food, private school tuition for kids, hotel rooms for his mistress and all sorts of other personal expenses. Even after he was indicted by a federal grand jury for misusing a quarter of a million dollars in campaigns funds, Hunter tried to blame the spending on everybody but himself, or brush off the charges as a politically motivated witch hunt.

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