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San Diego – 13 June 2019
1. Margaret Hunter, wife of Rep. Duncan Hunter, walks to federal courthouse in San Diego
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Tom McNamara, attorney for Margaret Hunter:
"Ms. Hunter has asked us to read a brief statement on her behalf. Earlier this morning I entered a guilty plea before the United States District court, in doing so I have fully accepted responsibility for my conduct. I am deeply remorseful, and I apologize. I am saddened for the hurt I caused my family and others. I understand that there will be more consequences stemming from my actions, but as demonstrated this morning with the entry of the plea, I've taken the first step to facing those consequences."
3. Margaret Hunter waiting at security inside courthouse
The wife of indicted Republican U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, including for an Italy trip that cost more than $10,000.
Margaret Hunter, who worked as her husband's campaign manager, had previously pleaded not guilty to corruption charges alleging the couple used more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal trips, hotel rooms and shopping sprees.
But on Thursday she withdrew that plea in U.S. court in San Diego and pleaded guilty to a single count carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison.
In a statement read by her attorney, Margaret Hunter said, "I am saddened for the hurt I caused my family and others."
The misuse of campaign funds spanned from 2010 to the end of 2016.
The move suggests she is cooperating with the prosecution and might even testify against her husband. His trial is scheduled for September.
His attorney, Gregory Vega, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Margaret Hunter's guilt should have no impact on his client's case.
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