GOP congressman's wife pleads guilty to conspiring with him to steal campaign cash


Rep. Duncan Hunter's wife admitted in court to conspiring with her husband to spend campaign funds on themselves illegally.

Margaret Hunter, wife and former campaign manager for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of criminal conspiracy related to allegations she and her husband illegally used campaign funds to subsidize a lavish lifestyle.

Specifically, Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty to conspiring with her husband to spend campaign funds for personal use over a seven-year period, from 2010 through 2016. Part of her plea requires her to cooperate with prosecutors, according to Politico.

She could face five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. She is set to be sentenced on September 1.

Both Hunters had previously pleaded not guilty to a 60-count federal indictment related to misuse of campaign funds.

According to the indictment, the Hunters used campaign funds for a variety of personal expenses, including family trips to Europe and Hawaii, a shopping spree at Disneyland's Star Trader shop, more than two dozen shots of tequila and a steak at a bachelor party, a plane ticket for the family's pet rabbit, and personal expenditure he claimed were for "wounded warriors."

"I have fully accepted responsibility for my conduct, I am deeply remorseful and I apologize. I am saddened for the hurt I have caused my family and others," Margaret said after the trial, in a statement read by her attorney.

NBC News reported Duncan Hunter said, "It's sad that they were able to bludgeon her into submission." He also said he looks forward to going to trial, according to NBC.

In the past, Duncan Hunter blamed Margaret for any potential wrongdoing.

"I'm gone five days a week, I'm home for two, and she was the campaign manager. So whatever she did on that, that will be looked at, too, I'm sure. But I didn't do it," Duncan Hunter said in April 2018.

Duncan Hunter still serves in Congress even though he is out on bail and awaiting his trial.

Duncan Hunter's next court appearance is July 1 to debate various legal motions, according to the Union-Tribune.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.