Federal prosecutors want congressman caught with his hand in the cookie jar to spend year in prison
Duncan Hunter [R-Calif], finally pled guilty to embezzlement of $250,000 in campaign funds in a deal with federal prosecutors in San Diego, Tuesday
The Republican congressman had fought allegations for more than a year and called it a ‘witch hunt’ claiming he was being targeted like Donald Trump
Duncan denied culpability and blamed his campaign manager, Margaret Hunter, incidentally his wife, who was similarly charged with campaign finance mismanagement
However, after his wife Margaret took a plea deal which would have seen her testify, he changed his tune and admitted to corruption
Campaign cash was illegally spent on entertaining string of mistresses, family trips abroad, and even a first class ticket for Eggburt the Hunters’ pet rabbit
Hunter, 42, is yet to say when he will stand down; he is scion of political dynasty and his father Duncan Hunter Sr. held the 50th CA District before him
Margaret and Duncan Hunter could have faced decades in prison before the plea deals, with Margaret’s plea deal she faces up to five years in prison – same as her husband
Hunter, one of first two GOP congressmen to endorse then candidate Trump, exited the courthouse to a crowd jeered ‘lock him up’ and holding up signs saying ‘Trump next’
New York GOP Congressman Chris Collins, who quit the House in Sept after pleading guilty to insider trading, was the other early supporter of Trump
For more than a year, Hunter had insisted that criminal charges against him and his wife were the result of a conspiracy of the ‘deep state’ meant to drive him from office in the Democrat-dominated state.
Hunter, was early supporter of President Donald Trump. He was reported by Politico to have endorsed him on the same day as Chris Collins, a New York Republican, who were jointly the first two members of the House to officially support him.
Collins resigned from Congress in September after pleading guilty to insider trading.
Hunter said in a TV interview that aired Monday that he is prepared to go to jail.
The change in plea marks the second time this year a Republican congressman who was re-elected while indicted has later pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Hunter, 42, told San Diego TV station KUSI a trial would be tough on his three children.
‘I think it would be really tough for them,’ he said. ‘It’s hard enough being the kids of a public figure. I think it´s time for them to live life outside the spotlight.’
But he admitted ‘mistakes’ and said he had agreed to plead guilty to only one count of ‘misuse of my own campaign funds.’
‘I think it’s important that people know that I did make mistakes. I did not properly monitor or account for my campaign money. I justify my plea with the understanding that I am responsible for my own campaign and my own campaign money,’ he said, while revealing nothing about the life of luxury the embezzled money allowed him to enjoy.
Prosecutors also revealed Hunter spent some of the money on romantic relationships with lobbyists and congressional aides.
In trying unsuccessfully to exclude evidence of his affairs from a January trial, Duncan’s lawyers argued that his relationships with the lobbyists and congressional aides he is accused of sleeping with helped his campaigns in a way that his supporters intend for their contributions to be used.
‘However unpopular the notion of a married man mixing business with pleasure, the Government cannot simply dismiss the reality that Mr. Hunter’s relationships with Individual’s 14-18 often served an overtly political purpose that would not have existed irrespective of his occupation,’ Hunter’s attorneys wrote.
They also claimed that the ‘salacious allegations’ would taint the jury pool as soon as they were heard in court.
The president’s men: The first two members of the House to endorse Donald Trump were Chris Collins from NY, [center], and Duncan Hunter from Calif., [right]. Both now face jail time after admitting to federal felonies
Hunter’s departure will mark the end of a political dynasty in Southern California´s most Republican district. His father represented the district for 28 years prior to Hunter’s 2008 election.
In October, former four-term Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York pled guilty in an insider trading case, a day after he resigned from Congress. He faces a maximum sentence of about four years in prison.
The two legislators were the first two members of congress to support candidate Trump