Just one day later, Duncan Hunter, Sr., former Congressman and father of the current embattled Congressional member, endorsed Issa to fill his son's seat, raising questions over whether Issa agreed to a quid pro quo – announcing support for a pardon in trade in order to receive the endorsement.
DeMaio and Campa-Najjar oppose presidential pardon
By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Darrell Issa during campaign kick-off in El Cajon
December 8, 2019 (San Diego) - On the heels of Congressman Duncan Hunter announcing that he will resign from Congress following his guilty plea to misusing campaign funds for personal expenses, former Congressman Darrell Issa voiced support for President Trump to pardon Hunter.Issa told the San Diego Union-Tribune that a pardon could “balance the public good” by saving on prison costs.
Conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio, who is also running for the seat, opposes a pardon. DeMaio told the Union-Tribune, “ It would not be appropriate because at some point we have to expect that our politicians are going to be held accountable for their mistakes.”
State Senator Brian Jones, the third Republican in the race, has stayed neutral, indicating it is up to the President whether or not to intervene.
Democratic contender Ammar Campa Najjar, a former Obama administration staffer,says Hunter has done “the right thing” by taking responsibility for his actions and pleading guilty. He says that for the president to exonerate Hunter after Hunter said he is willing to “take the hit” by accepting a prison term ”wouldn’t be a good precedent to set for either party.”
Hunter has been an early and strong supporter of Trump throughout Trump’s campaign and presidency. Trump has issued several controversial pardons, including pardoning Navy Seals convicted of war crimes and Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpiao after a conviction on criminal contempt of court.
Unlike prior presidents, Hunter has not consulted the Justice Department before issuing pardons to national prominent figures.