Wife of GOP congressman Duncan Hunter abruptly changes plea in corruption case
The wife of GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is now changing her plea to guilty in a case that charges the couple with misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.
Before this latest announcement, the embattled congressman and spouse swore their innocence from the rooftops, but something happened on Wednesday to change all that.
“Notice of hearing as to defendant Margaret E. Hunter,” the docket entry states. “Change of Plea hearing set for 6/13/2019.”
No word yet on how this affects the congressman in a court of law, or if this is being done to save him, aka his wife taking the fall for his apparent misdeeds.
While details of the reasons for switching to a guilty plea aren't known yet, they're accused of spending more than $250,000 from campaign funding for personal trips and expenses, including $600 to fly the family's pet rabbit across the country, among other outlandish spending.
Margaret Hunter worked as her husband's campaign manager, and while she may have been in charge of some spending, a lot of that was for family personal expenses like golf outings, school tuition, and theater tickets. There is no way the congressman could not have known that he and his wife were violating federal law.
According to prosecutors, the Hunters knew exactly what they were doing, and most likely took from campaign funds because they were in desperate need of money, even on his $174,000 annual salary:
“Throughout the relevant period, the Hunters spent substantially more than they earned. They overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times in a seven-year period, resulting in approximately $37,761 in ‘overdraft’ and ‘insufficient funds’ bank fees.”
Despite all this, Rep. Duncan Hunter still proclaims his innocence, and his wife's sudden guilty plea could have been a plan in the works all along. He stated previously that his wife had handled the finances and he had no clue what was going on.
Since the charges were first filed, and these have been ongoing for the last year, the congressman has re-won election in the 50th District in San Diego and Riverside counties. He still has been stripped of his committee assignments, though.