Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) confirmed Monday he will plead guilty on campaign finance violations charges on Tuesday after months of saying he is innocent.
“My trial was set for January 22; that’s not going to happen now. On tomorrow, on Tuesday, I’m going to change my plea to guilty. I think it’s important not to have a public trial for three reasons, and those three reasons are my kids,” Hunter told KUSI News.
Hunter said he would only plead guilty to one of the charges.
He said that a trial would “be really tough for them,” adding that it is “hard enough being the kids of a public figure.”
“I think it’s time for them to live life outside the spotlight. But it’s been a privilege to serve in Congress for 11 years, three tours in the Marine Corps and the wars. So I think we’ve done a lot of great things for the nation,” Hunter told the news outlet.
U.S. Attorney Phillip Halpern told CNN that Hunter is no longer pleading not guilty.
“The court calendar shows that Duncan Hunter will go before a judge and change his not guilty plea in this case,” Halpern said.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Hunter’s wife, Margaret, his campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to her role in a scheme that saw the two allegedly spend more than $200,000 in donations on family expenses like vacations, gas, groceries, school lunches, and oral surgery.
The Hunters were indicted in August 2018 on charges of misusing funds for personal expenses.
Following the indictment, the congressman was removed from his House committee assignments. Hunter, who was first elected in 2008, managed to win his reelection bid during the 2018 midterms amid the campaign finance allegations.
As reported by 10 News, Hunter could face eight and 14 months in prison.
In the KUSI interview, Hunter said his seat would be “passed off to whoever takes the seat next. We’ll make sure it’s a seamless transition.” He didn’t say when he would vacate it.
Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar and Republicans Darrell Issa and Carl DeMaio are among the candidates who are vying for his seat.
In reaction to Hunter’s decision on Monday, DeMaio told 10 News, “While this must have been a tough decision for him, Congressman Hunter’s decision to plead guilty is the right one for his family and his constituents and shows that no one should be above the law—especially Members of Congress. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hunter family as they go through this difficult process.”
From The Epoch Times