GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter’s seat in limbo as he faces 5 years behind barsDecember 4, 2019
The seat belonging to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who pleaded guilty Tuesday to one conspiracy count for misusing over $250,000 in campaign contributions, is hanging in the balance as the congressman faces considerable jail time.
The embattled politician — who has not yet said whether he will resign — is meeting with GOP leaders in DC Wednesday to “discuss next steps,” his press secretary Mike Harrison told The Post.
Hunter “will announce at the appropriate time after he has concluded those conversations,” Harrison added.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on Hunter’s guilty plea or Wednesday’s meeting on his political future.
The congressman, who initially slammed the indictment as politically motivated and brought on by “partisan Democrat prosecutors,” spoke to reporters about his plea outside a California courthouse Tuesday.
“I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending. I made mistakes, and that’s what today was all about. So, that being said, I’ll have more statements in the future about the future.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Halpern, who was part of the prosecution team against Hunter, criticized the congressman’s comments.
Speaking to reporters after Hunter had departed the courthouse, Halpern said that Hunter pleaded guilty to the top criminal count against him, a charge that was “not about mismanagement of his campaign.”
“Congressman Hunter himself misappropriated his own campaign funds for the use of himself and his family,” using campaign funds, “as a piggy bank to float a lifestyle they couldn’t maintain.”
Hunter, who still represents the San Diego area in the House, was indicted along with his wife, Margaret, who served as his campaign manager, in August 2018.
The Hunters were accused of spending $250,000 worth of campaign funds on family vacations to Italy and Hawaii, tuition for their children, theater tickets, groceries, restaurant bills, dental visits and even plane tickets for their pet bunny, Eggburt, to travel alongside them.
Margaret Hunter changed her plea from not guilty to guilty in June, signing an agreement at that time that required her to help in the investigation of her husband.
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