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Thursday December 12th, 2019 5:45AM

The Latest: California’s Hunter doesn’t say when he’ll quit

By The Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter’s guilty plea to misusing campaign money (all times local):

11 a.m.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter showed no emotion in the courtroom when he pleaded guilty to misusing campaign money.

Outside court he declined to say when he would leave office.

Prosecutor Phil Halpern noted Hunter’s honorable service in the Marine Corps and his place in a family that has been a local political dynasty. But he had a sharp rebuke for the congressman’s claim that the investigation was a politically motivated "witch hunt."

“No figure, regardless of what office they occupy, should be allowed in this country to cry witch-hunt or fake news and attempt to deflect their criminal wrongdoings," he said.

Halpern vowed to seek a prison term for Hunter of at least a year, although his plea agreement calls for up to five years.

___

10:20 a.m.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter faces five years in prison after pleading guilty to misusing campaign money.

Hunter, 42, changed his not guilty plea in federal court in San Diego Tuesday.

He gave a brief statement outside court saying he failed to properly monitor campaign funds.

He had denied wrong doing for more than a year. He claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt by federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors say he and his wife misspent more than $250,000 in campaign money. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty earlier this year and had agreed to testify against her husband.

___

10:10 a.m.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter has pleaded guilty to misusing campaign money in a dramatic reversal that paves the way for the six-term Republican to quit.

Hunter, 42, changed his not guilty plea in federal court in San Diego Tuesday.

He had denied wrong doing for more than a year. He claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt by federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors say he and his wife misspent more than $250,000 in campaign money. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty earlier this year and had agreed to testify against her husband.

Hunter told KUSI television in San Diego he decided to change his plea because a trial would be rough on his children.

He is the second Republican congressman to plead guilty to federal charges this year.

___

9:49 p.m.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter is planning to plead guilty to the misuse of campaign funds and prepare to leave his congressional seat.

Hunter says he will change his not guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in San Diego.

The six-term Republican claimed for more than a year that he was the victim of a political witch hunt by federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors say he and his wife misspent more than $250,000 in campaign money. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty earlier this year and had agreed to testify against her husband.

Hunter told KUSI television in San Diego he is changing his plea to protect his children.

He will be the second Republican congressman to pleaded guilty to federal charges this year.

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