Former Congressman Duncan D. Hunter continues to argue that “carelessness” and reliance on his wife “to make sure their finances are in order” caused him to lose $ 150,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
This information was revealed in a legal motion filed Thursday by federal prosecutors, who asked Judge Thomas Whalen for permission to present a longer than usual sentencing memorandum in Hunter’s case.
On December 3, 2019, Hunter pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count for abusing campaign funds. But in the latest filing, prosecutors say Hunter does not accept full responsibility for his actions.
“Hunter has tried to deflect criminal responsibility over his wife and family from the start” of the federal investigation, wrote prosecutor Phil Halpern.
“Hunter still clings to this tactic,” even after pleading guilty, Halpern said.
NBC 7’s Alex Presha got the latest information after Representative Duncan Hunter clung to his post.
The prosecution’s reminder offers a first look at the otherwise confidential pre-sentencing report that will help Judge Whelan decide on Hunter’s punishment. That report, which was filed under seal on February 11, includes excerpts from Hunter’s interview with the probation officer.
In their motion, prosecutors argue that even though Hunter “is taking responsibility for his actions,” he still insists that negligence and dependence on his wife were partly responsible for his criminal acts.
But Hunter’s attorneys, Devin Burstein and Paul Pfingst, insist that their client takes full responsibility for the missing error.
In opposition to the government motion, they cite three other statements made by Hunter to his probation officer:
- “I misused the campaign funds.”
- “I pleaded guilty because I’m guilty. I spent campaign funds to cover personal expenses and allowed Margaret (Hunter) to do the same.”
- “Any punishment for misuse of campaign funds should be mine alone. Margaret and my kids have had enough.”
Given his acceptance of responsibility, Hunter’s attorneys argue that “the government has said it needs more pages [in its sentencing report]… is nonsense. ”
Burstein and Pfingst also claim that prosecutors want to present a longer sentencing warrant “not to guarantee justice, but to maximize [media] coverage of Hunter’s sentencing hearing.
But Prosecutor Halpern said the extra pages are needed “to present a broad factual summary in order to combat Hunter’s incessant and incendiary allegations that the Justice Department has initiated a political vendetta against him since the investigation was become public. “
Hunter could face up to five years in prison when sentenced on March 17.