Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
Published 6: 42 p.m. ET Dec. 6, 2019 | Updated 11: 47 p.m. ET Dec. 6, 2019
California Congressman Duncan Hunter has pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds. The Republican from San Diego appeared Tuesday in federal court to enter his plea. (Dec. 3)
WASHINGTON – California Rep. Duncan Hunter announced he would be resigning from Congress “shortly after the holidays” after pleading guilty in federal court earlier this week to misusing campaign funds.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of California’s 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years,” the Republican lawmaker said in a statement.
Hunter and his wife were indicted on 60 counts of campaign finance violations by federal prosecutors in August 2018.
Prosecutors alleged he and Margaret Hunter skirted federal campaign finance laws from 2009 to 2016 by using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal vacations, bills, and in Duncan Hunter’s case, affairs with three lobbyists, a congressional aide, and one of his staffers.
Hunter is awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty on a single count Tuesday, reversing his not guilty plea.
The embattled congressman was stripped of his committee assignments after his indictment in 2018, meaning he has been unable to participate in most legislative proceedings in Congress.
Hunter’s announcement follows a two-page letter sent last Thursday by the House Ethics Committee instructing Hunter to “refrain from voting.”
The committee told Hunter his guilty plea could bring a sentence of “two or more years of imprisonment,” meaning that under House rules, Hunter “should refrain from voting on any question at a meeting of the House or of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.”
Hunter told a San Diego TV station Monday that, “Whatever my time in custody is, I will take that hit. My only hope is that the judge does not sentence my wife to jail. I think my kids need a mom in the home.”
Hunter won re-election by 3 points in 2018, despite facing the indictment. He was first elected to the San Diego-area congressional district in 2008, succeeding his father, Rep. Duncan Hunter Sr.
Contributing: Nicholas Wu
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