Rep. Duncan Hunter to plead guilty in campaign finance violations case

The California Republican didn’t say definitively that he was resigning, but the former Marine officer did mention that “It’s been a privilege to serve in Congress. I think we’ve done a lot of great things for the nation.”

The Hunters have been a dynasty in southern California politics for decades. Hunter or his father, Duncan Hunter, Sr., have held that San Diego seat since 1980. The elder Hunter, a hardline military hawk, even ran briefly for president in 2008 before withdrawing.

When asked what would happen to his congressional seat, Hunter added: “I’m confident the transition will be a good one.”

Margaret Hunter, the congressman’s wife, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds back in June, a move that put enormous pressure on him to find a deal with federal prosecutors.

A source close to the case said Hunter’s plea agreement will be “virtually identical” to Margaret Hunter’s deal.

Recommended federal sentencing ranges for this felony charge range from 8 to 14 months, although Hunter’s lawyers will argue for a drastically lower term of incarceration, citing his military and public service records.

A hearing notice was posted Monday morning on the federal court docket in San Diego announcing Hunter’s change of plea. An attorney for the California Republican could not be immediately reached for comment. Justice Department officials declined to formally comment on Hunter’s interview.

Hunter’s trial was initially scheduled to take place this fall, but the proceedings had been pushed back until Jan. 22. Hunter had also filed a case in a federal appeals court seeking to dismiss the charges. Both these legal actions will end with the plea deal.

The House Ethics Committee, which has also announced that it intended to investigate Hunter, would drop its case against him as well.

Federal prosecutors described the Hunters as so mired in debt that they had less than $1,000 in their bank account from 2009 to 2017, and owed money to stores like Macy’s and Home Depot. The Hunters had begun falling behind on their children’s school tuition and missed numerous mortgage payments.

“It explains why he himself used campaign funds to buy everything from cigarettes to gadgets to groceries to getaways — things he wanted but could not afford to buy with his own money,” prosecutors alleged in one filing.

Hunter — who has developed a reputation on Capitol Hill for drinking heavily and carousing — was also accused of routinely using campaign cash to finance numerous extra-marital affairs.

In one episode in 2010, Hunter allegedly took a lobbyist on a “double date” road trip to Virginia Beach with a fellow congressman and then charged his campaign for the hotel room and bar tab.

In another 2015 incident, Hunter allegedly took a House leadership aide out for cocktails and then took an Uber back to his office after they spent the night together. Both expenses were charged to his campaign account, prosecutors say.

Hunter, who narrowly won reelection last fall despite his indictment, has long claimed that he was the subject of a political witch hunt. Hunter alleged that the prosecutors were biased against him because they supported former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and he was an early endorser of President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors accused Hunter of improperly using campaign funds to pursue numerous romantic affairs with congressional aides and lobbyists.

Prosecutors urged the judge in Hunter’s case to “admonish” the lawmaker to stop attacking them as politically biased. Hunter, they said, had attempted to connect his case to Trump’s claims of an FBI “witch hunt” against him.

After Hunter was indicted, GOP leaders stripped him of his committee assignments but stopped short of calling on him to resign.

Former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who was indicted on insider trading chargers last summer and also initially denied the charges, ended up pleading guilty this fall and resigned from Congress. But Collins and Hunter both won reelection despite their indictments, which marked the first time since the 1980s that multiple members facing prison time were able to convince voters to return them to office.

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SIN BIN: Hunter Biden spent ‘thousands’, smoked crack in D.C. strip club

Hunter Biden has joined a long list of embarrassing political scions and siblings.

Men like Billy Carter, Roger Clinton and Ronald Reagan’s party-loving daughter Patti Davis.

According to the New York Post, the 49-year-old son of former vice president and Democratic Party frontrunner Joe Biden has a taste for strippers and crack.

The Post reports that Biden Jr. blew through thousands of dollars at Washington strip joint, Archibald’s Gentleman’s Club, and is suspected of smoking crack during the soiree.

Billy Carter set the standard for presidential relatives. NEWSWEEK

Biden has previously acknowledged his struggles with boozing and a 2016 crack binge, hitting rehab half a dozen times.

Regulars at the peeler bar say Hunter Biden was a frequent flier at the sin bin three blocks north of the White House.

Security worker Ranko Petrovic told the Post that Biden would be ensconced in a VIP room for the duration of his visits.

Petrovic said the club “had no issue with him” but one former owner said Hunter was suspected of “drug use” in the club.

Trouble in the past. NY POST

“There was a smell of burning Styrofoam in the VIP room. We told him nothing illegal can go on here,” James Ritter said. “We didn’t see anything illegal. After he was spoken to, the smell stopped.”

He added: “VIP employees suspected it was crack.”

Funding for his carnal excursions was paid for by credit cards that didn’t have his name on it.

“Hunter was a bit of an exception,” Ritter told the Post.

“Whenever he was in town, he came in for two days in a row, disappeared and came back a month later.”

Ronald Reagans daughter, Patti Davis, graced the pages of Playboy. PLAYBOY

While he was partying at the flesh fest, Biden was a board member for Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma.

The resource company reportedly paid him as much as $50,000 a month.

Hunter Biden’s meteoric boardroom rise lies at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Democrats claim the president withheld $400 million in arms aid to Ukraine to force a probe into corruption allegations against Joe and Hunter Biden.

Trump has denied the charge.

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Senators Seek ‘Suspicious Activity Reports’ on Ukraine, Hunter Biden

Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the United States Treasury to inquire about “suspicious activity reports” related to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his employment with Ukrainian energy empire Burisma.

Reuters reported on the November 15 letter sent by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to Ken Blanco, the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network:

The letter, seen by Reuters on Friday, seeks “suspicious activity reports,” or documents that financial institutions file with the department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network when a case of money laundering or fraud is suspected.

It was unclear if any such reports exist regarding Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son. There letter gave no evidence that Hunter Biden engaged in suspicious activity that would have been covered by such reports.

The agency does not comment on the reports, a spokesman said. Fincen, as the network is known, collects more than 2 million such reports each year, and they are tipsheets that make no findings on whether illegal activity has occurred.

The letter is part of an effort in Congress to defend President Donald Trump for what Republicans say is a partisan effort by Democrats to make a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky where the Bidens’ Ukrainian dealings were discussed an impeachable offense.

The lawmakers set a Dec. 5 deadline for Treasury to respond to the request.

Reuters noted in its report that Hunter Biden served on the board of directors for Burisima, which has been investigated for corruption. The younger Biden served on the board while Joe Biden was vice president of the United States.

“In the letter, the senators said Burisma was paying Hunter Biden as much as $50,000 a month and their panels were investigating ‘potentially improper actions by the Obama administration with respect to Burisma Holdings and Ukraine,’” Reuters reported.

In the final paragraph of the Reuters report, another investigation is revealed: Grassley and Johnson have asked the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration for records of a 2016 White House meeting between Obama administration officials, representatives of the Ukrainian government, and officials from the Democratic National Committee.

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