Nearly a year after U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter suggested his wife was to blame for their indictment over the alleged misuse of $250,000 in campaign funds, Margaret Hunter was headed to court Thursday to change her not-guilty plea, which could pave the way for her to testify against her husband, one of President Donald Trump’s earliest GOP supporters.
Margaret Hunter, who worked as her husband’s campaign manager, was scheduled to appear in federal court in San Diego to change her plea.
The California congressman’s attorney, Gregory Vega, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Margaret Hunter’s decision should have no impact on his client’s federal corruption case that alleges the couple spent more than $250,000 in campaign money on a lavish lifestyle, bankrolling Italian and Hawaiian vacations, tequila shots and theater tickets while their household budget was in the red.
Former federal prosecutor Jason A. Forge disagrees. Forge prosecuted California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who resigned from Congress in 2005 and served more than seven years in prison for one of the worst bribery scandals to ever bring down a federal lawmaker.
Forge said it’s rare for one spouse to plead out when the other’s case has not been resolved.
“I would say it’s a virtual certainty that she’s cooperating with the government and therefore will be testifying against her husband,” Forge said, adding he believes that makes the case “winnable.”
Forge said Margaret Hunter may be ready to testify about the status of their marriage and how much sway she had over the spending.
Margaret Hunter’s lawyers did not respond to a request by The Associated Press seeking comment nor did the lawmaker’s attorneys.
Since the indictment last year, the two have entered federal court in San Diego separately with their own attorneys and also have left separately.
In an interview with Fox News last year, the six-term congressman said his campaign made mistakes, that he gave his wife power of attorney when he deployed as a Marine to Iraq in