Law & the Courts

Former Rep. Duncan Hunter Sentenced to Eleven Months in Prison

Representative Duncan Hunter leaves federal court after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds in San Diego, California,December 3, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Former congressman Duncan Hunter on Wednesday was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

The former congressman’s father, Duncan Hunter Sr., told reporters that the sentencing constituted a political “hit job.” Hunter, a Republican who served California’s 50th congressional district in San Diego, had painted the indictments against him as a “witch hunt” up until he pleaded guilty in December to one count of misusing at least $150,000 from his campaign.

Hunter spent those funds on family vacations, shopping sprees for his wife Margaret, and plane tickets for the family’s pet rabbit. Prosecutors also alleged the former congressman paid travel and other expenses for multiple mistresses.

“I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending. I made mistakes, and that’s what today was all about,” Duncan said in December. The congressman indicated he wanted to avoid a trial “for my kids. I think it would be really tough for them.”

Margaret Hunter, who was indicted along with her husband, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 7.

Duncan and Margaret Hunter had been under indictment since August 2018, although the former congressman still won reelection in 2018.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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