A court document indicates that Margaret Hunter, wife and former campaign manager of U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter, will plead guilty to allegations that she and her husband misused campaign funds.
The federal court calendar shows a change of plea hearing for Margaret Hunter at 10 a.m. Thursday in front of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan, at the San Diego courthouse.
The Hunters pleaded not guilty in August 2018 to charges that they used more than $250,000 to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets and even fast food purchases.
The federal grand jury indictment depicts the couple as binge spenders who over eight years pocketed a steady stream of contributions intended for campaign purposes, while their household budget was awash in red ink.
At the time, Rep. Hunter suggested that his wife was to blame for misuse of campaign funds telling reporters in San Diego that Margaret Hunter was “in charge” of the finances and claiming, “I didn’t do it.”
Hunter also claimed that he gave his wife power of attorney when he deployed as a U.S. Marine to Iraq in 2003. Hunter also said his wife has handled the couple's finances during his five terms in office.
But, the following week, he flipped the script and demanded federal prosecutors leave his wife alone.
“My message to the U.S. attorney here is let's get this in court,” Hunter told NBC 7 on August 28. “Leave my wife out of it, we know they're not after her they're after me. They want to flip the seat, so let's go to court let's have a trial and everybody will see everything.”
The Hunters hired separate defense attorneys and have consistently arrived separately for pretrial hearings at the downtown federal courthouse.