Wife of GOP lawmaker pleads guilty to corruption charge

Margaret Hunter, indicted along with her husband Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) for the alleged misuse of over $250,000 in campaign money, plead guilty on Thursday to federal corruption charges, raising the possibility that she could testify in any trial involving the GOP lawmaker.

The Hunters were indicted in August of 2018 over the use of campaign money for personal expenses, as federal prosecutors detailed how credit cards for the Congressman's campaign were used for family vacations, hotel rooms, dinners, and a variety of personal home expenses.

Under her agreement with federal prosecutors, Margaret Hunter plead guilty to 'knowingly and willfully' converting campaign funds to personal use; the original indictment against the Hunters said the husband and wife 'knowingly conspired with each other.'

Mrs. Hunter did not speak to reporters, allowing her lawyer Thomas McNamara to read a statement outside the court house, after she entered her plea agreement.

The guilty plea raised even more questions about Hunter's future in the Congress; Republican leaders have refused to allow Hunter to serve on any committees while he is under indictment, leaving him with little in the way of official responsibilities, other than voting and constituent services.

Hunter is one of two GOP lawmakers currently serving in Congress who are facing federal indictments.  Rep. Chris Collins R-NY is awaiting trial on charges related to insider trading.

The charges against the Hunters were highly detailed, showing that they funneled campaign money to their own personal use for vacations, hotels, dinners - and a wide variety of domestic items, including groceries, payments for a dance competition, video games, school lunches for their children, dental work, dog food, utility bills, and even private school tuition.

The plea agreement also included details of how the Hunters used campaign money to fly their family's pet rabbit around the country.

Hunter's reaction came in a written statement, as he again denounced his prosecution.

“It was politically motivated at the beginning, it remains politically motivated now,” Hunter said.

Rep. Hunter's next scheduled court date is July 1.

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