Judge Grants Duncan Hunter Legal Team More Time Ahead of Trial

Trial for California Republican now likely to take place after midterm elections

Rep. Duncan Hunter was granted more time before trial by a federal judge in San Diego. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Duncan Hunter was granted more time before trial by a federal judge in San Diego. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted September 24, 2018 at 1:55pm

A federal judge in San Diego on Monday granted Rep. Duncan Hunter’s attorneys more time to to go through documents and discovery materials before going to trial. U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan has not yet set a trial date, but set the next status conference for  Dec. 3, pushing the trial until after the November midterm elections.

Hunter’s attorney, Gregory Vega, asked Whelan for additional time to go through FBI documents and other discovery materials before going to trial. He referenced two terabytes of files that are in discovery for the case. Vega told the judge three weeks ago he needed more time. Whelan told Hunter and his lawyers that he is expected to be present at every hearing in the case. 

Hunter was back in court Monday for a status hearing on the 60 federal charges facing him and his wife related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as family vacations and golf outings. The couple were indicted by a federal grand jury in late August for allegedly using campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment days later.

Hunter faced protesters when arriving and leaving hearing Monday. 

 

The congressman and his wife Margaret are not being represented by the same legal team and did not enter or exit the courthouse together. 

 

Hunter told Fox news this summer that “She handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got into Congress …. She was also the campaign manager. Whatever she did, that’ll be looked at too, I’m sure, but I didn’t do it.“

He later told KGTV News in San Diego: “Leave my wife out of it, leave my family out of it. It’s me they’re after, anyway. They’re not after my wife; they want to take me down, that’s what they’re up to. So let’s get this in the arena and have this settled.“

Hunter faces Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in November. Despite Hunter’s legal trouble, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales still rates the race Likely Republican.