GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter To Plead Guilty In Campaign Finance Scandal
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter has repeatedly claimed the campaign finance charges against him are the result of a political witch hunt, but the congressman from California will now change his previous not guilty plea to guilty, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Hunter is scheduled to make the change in court on Tuesday, though it remains unclear precisely what crime or crimes to which the lawmaker will admit. The Union-Tribune reported that any deal between Hunter’s attorneys and prosecutors remains unknown as well.
Despite the charges against both Hunter and his wife — Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty in June — the lawmaker was running for re-election; however, a guilty plea generally would include an agreement to step down from office.
Paul Kane on Twitter
“With guilty plea, Hunter is certain to also resign from Congress. That will create 5th vacancy - Katie Hill, Cummings, Chris Collins, Duffy, Hunter. Magic # for impeachment will be 216. With 233 Dems, 196 Rs, 1 Indy (Amash, a likely yes on impeach). https://t.co/f8aPkTXxna”
The couple is accused of using more than $200,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, including vacations, gas, groceries, school lunches and oral surgery.
“Congressman Hunter has shown a blatant disregard for the law and engaged in one of the most egregious congressional spending scandals we have ever seen,” said Jordan Libowitz, communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “We are glad to see Congressman Hunter will finally face the consequences of his actions. Given that he will now be a convicted criminal for abusing his office, Congressman Hunter must resign immediately.”