Margaret Hunter, the spouse of longtime East County Congressman Duncan Hunter who was co-indicted together with her husband last summer time, has agreed to vary her plea of not responsible and is scheduled to seem in federal courtroom Thursday morning.
The announcement was posted on the U.S. District Courtroom docket late Wednesday morning with none supplemental documentation.
“Discover of hearing as to defendant Margaret E. Hunter,” the docket entry states. “Change of Plea listening to set for 6/thirteen/2019.”
Both Hunter and wife have been indicted in August on 60 legal counts related to what prosecutors allege was a yearslong misuse of marketing campaign donations to the congressman’s re-election fund. Each of the defendants pleaded not guilty to all costs last yr.
Attorneys for Margaret Hunter, forty four, did not immediately return calls in search of comment concerning the change-of-plea listening to Thursday.
Gregory Vega, the former U.S. lawyer who’s defending Rep. Hunter, stated the event has no speedy bearing on his shopper’s case.
“We’re aware of Mrs. Hunter scheduling a hearing to vary her plea,” Vega stated Wednesday. “Presently, that does not change something relating to Congressman Hunter. There are nonetheless vital motions that have to be litigated, particularly the speech or debate clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
Vega declined to comment on whether or not the change of plea may mirror a choice by Margaret Hunter to cooperate with prosecutors and testify towards her husband.
While the couple appeared jointly at preliminary courtroom appearances immediately following the August indictment, they arrived separately to newer proceedings, sat in separate elements of the courtroom and prevented talking and even eye contact.
The indictment, which adopted two-plus years of reporting by The San Diego Union-Tribune, accused Hunter and his spouse of using a minimum of $250,000 in marketing campaign donations for personal expenses, including groceries, personal-faculty tuition for the couple’s youngsters, a trip to Italy and oral surgical procedure.
The Alpine congressman, 42, additionally billed his marketing campaign $600 to fly his household’s pet rabbit across the nation, data show.
Previous to the indictment, Hunter stated the questionable spending was all made by mistake. As an example, he claimed $1,300 of video game bills have been charged to his congressional marketing campaign partially as a result of his private and congressional playing cards have been both blue.
Later, he made a collection of repayments to the marketing campaign totaling $60,000 and declared the case closed.
But in line with prosecutors, the Hunters systematically used political donations to pay routine bills and to help their way of life, together with luxury lodge stays, golf outings, meals at costly eating places and extra.
“Throughout the relevant interval, the Hunters spent considerably greater than they earned,” the indictment stated. “They overdrew their bank account greater than 1,one hundred occasions in a seven-yr interval, leading to roughly $37,761 in ‘overdraft’ and ‘insufficient funds’ financial institution…