House Ethics Committee ends probe of Rep. Duncan Hunter campaign spending

Rep Duncan Hunter Jr., R-Calif., leaves Federal Court in San Diego on July 1, 2019, after a motions hearing.


By MORGAN COOK | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: January 14, 2020

SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. House Committee on Ethics announced Tuesday that it no longer has jurisdiction over former Rep. Duncan Hunter following his resignation Monday and would therefore close its inquiry into allegations of misspending of campaign money.

The committee had agreed to conduct a probe into allegations that Hunter used his campaign money for personal purposes, but it deferred its inquiry in 2017 at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice while the department conducted a criminal investigation.

Federal prosecutors filed a 60-count indictment against Hunter and his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret, in August 2018. They reached separate plea deals last year in which each of them pleaded guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to convert hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds to personal use.

Following his plea Dec. 3, Hunter announced he would resign from Congress as of the close of business Monday.

“As a consequence, the Investigative Subcommittee and the Committee no longer have jurisdiction over him,” the committee announced Monday. “The Committee considers this matter closed.”

It said no public statement would be made on the matter except in accordance with committee rules.

Hunter is scheduled to be sentenced March 17 in U.S. District Court. Margaret Hunter is scheduled for sentencing April 13. Both face up to five years in prison, but are likely to receive a reduced sentence at the recommendation of prosecutors under the terms of their respective plea agreements.

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