- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2019

Margaret Hunter, the wife of Rep. Duncan Hunter, pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, totaling roughly than $250,000 of campaign funds on clothes, vacation and restaurants.

Ms. Hunter, who served as campaign manager for the California Republican, withdrew her not guilty plea in a San Diego court and could serve up to five years in prison.

The couple originally pleaded not guilty last year following a grand jury indicting them on spending the funds on trips and personal shopping from 2010 to 2016, including a trip to Italy that reportedly cost more than $10,000.

Gregory Vega, Mr. Hunter’s lawyer, told The San Diego Union Tribune on Wednesday that Ms. Hunter’s guilty plea “does not change anything regarding” the congressman’s hearing, which is set for this September.

“There are still significant motions that need to be litigated, specifically the speech or debate clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Mr. Vega said.



Mr. Hunter told Fox News last August that he knew nothing about the mishandled funds, saying his wife took care of his finances.

“When I went away to Iraq in 2003, the first time, I gave her power of attorney. She handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got into Congress. She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did, that’ll be looked at, too, I’m sure, but I didn’t do it,” he said. Prosecutors said Mr. Hunter was aware of the spent campaign funds.

Despite the criminal case, Mr. Hunter narrowly won reelection in 2018 with 51.7% of the vote.

 

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