Duncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) pleaded guilty Tuesday to misuse of campaign funds after initially pleading not guilty after his indictment in August 2018, according to The Associated Press.

Hunter, who changed his plea in federal court in San Diego, faces up to five years in prison. 

The California Republican, who, along with his wife Margaret, was charged with misspending more than $250,000, initially claimed he was the victim of political persecution by “partisan Democrat prosecutors” despite the fact that the prosecution was handled by the office of U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman, a Trump appointee.

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“I made mistakes, and that’s what today was all about,” Hunter told reporters outside the courthouse Tuesday, according to CNN.

Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty to one count of corruption in June and agreed to testify for the prosecution. 

The congressman initially suggested any financial improprieties were his wife’s fault, citing her role as his campaign manager.

Hunter is scheduled to be sentenced March 17. Resigning his seat was not a condition of his plea deal.

Hunter was one of two then-sitting Republican members of Congress indicted in 2018. The other, former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), was indicted on charges of insider trading and making false statements, and initially pleaded not guilty before pleading guilty and resigning his seat on Oct. 1. Both congressmen were reelected in 2018 but stripped of their committee assignments before the election by then-Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

 

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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