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Rep. Duncan Hunter Shows no Signs of Resigning Despite Pleading Guilty to Campaign Finance Charges

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R, Calif.) leaves court following his arraignment at federal in San Diego, Calif., August 23, 2018. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Representative Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) has not indicated that he will leave his seat in the House after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to campaign finance violations.

Hunter had long criticized the investigation against him as a “witch hunt,” but announced on Sunday that he would change his stance and plead guilty. Hunter and his wife, who pleaded guilty to similar charges in June, were accused of using $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for family vacations to Hawaii, plane tickets for their pet rabbit, and other personal expenses. Both face a possible sentence of eight to fourteen months in jail.

“I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending. I made mistakes, and that’s what today was all about,” Duncan told reporters on Tuesday after his guilty plea. He said he wanted to avoid a trial “for my kids. I think it would be really tough for them.”

However, the congressman has not yet discussed resigning from the House with minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). Hunter refused to answer Politico on Wednesday when they asked whether he planned to resign.

Hunter is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17. One Republican lawmaker said party leadership would give him time to “get his affairs in order,” but that time would be limited. Republicans had to force Hunter to give up positions on various House committees after his guilty plea.

Former Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.) resigned on September 30, one day before he pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading.

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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