He'd hinted earlier in the week he might step down from his congressional post, and on Friday, Rep. Duncan Hunter made it official. "Shortly after the holidays, I will resign from Congress," the Republican said in a statement, per the Hill. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years." This announcement came just a few days after the 43-year-old did a 180 and said he'd plead guilty to campaign finance violations; the New York Post reports he pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single charge of conspiring with his wife, Margaret, who was also his former campaign treasurer, to use at least $150,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. Hunter had also received a letter from the House Ethics Committee on Thursday banning him from voting.
Hunter and his wife were indicted in the summer of 2018 and accused of misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds on such things as vacations in the US and overseas, school tuition, dental work, trips for relatives, and everyday items such as "fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, video games, coffee, groceries, [and] home utilities," per the Justice Department. Fox News reports that Margaret Hunter accepted a plea deal in June that required her to testify against her spouse. She could receive five years behind bars and be hit with a $250,000 fine at her April sentencing, KUSI reports. On Monday, Hunter told the station he hoped his wife wouldn't be jailed, as "I think my kids need a mom in the home." Hunter also faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced on March 17. (Read more Duncan Hunter stories.)