Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California has decided to abandon his not guilty plea against the corruption charges that he is facing stemming from alleged campaign finance violation.
In a Monday interview with San Diego TV station KUSI, Hunter said that he will plead guilty to one count of misuse of campaign funds. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday to change his previous plea of not guilty.
The San Diego area lawmaker said, “My trial was set for January 22nd, that’s not going to happen now. 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 … I think it’s time for them to live life outside the spotlight.”
Hunter stopped short of saying that he was leaving Congress but hinted that might be the route he’ll take, saying, “It’s been a privilege to serve in Congress for eleven years.”
#KUSINews Exclusive: Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (@Rep_Hunter) announces that he will plead guilty to one count of misuse of campaign funds.— KUSI News (@KUSINews) December 2, 2019
Full Interview: https://t.co/Me55QGHNoZ pic.twitter.com/tZsRcZjO2C
Later in the interview, Hunter added, “Whatever my time in custody is, I will take that hit. My only hope is that the judge does not sentence my wife to jail. I think the kids need a mom in the home.”
Hunter had previously appeared blamed some of the alleged campaign finance violations on his wife, saying, “She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did, that’ll be looked at, too, I’m sure, but I didn’t do it.”
The California Congressman hasn’t been much of a voice lately on Capitol Hill with the exception of being one of the loudest defenders of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. The SEAL was arrested on war crimes — he’s since been pardoned by President Donald Trump — but Hunter previously said that he didn’t believe the substantial evidence against the SEAL.