US Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is Facing Corruption Charges, wants his Trial Postponed

August 13, 2019 - 7:42 am

SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is facing corruption charges, wants his Sept. 10 trial postponed while his attorneys appeal a San Diego judge's refusal to dismiss the case.

Attorneys for the California lawmaker are expected to ask the same federal judge on Tuesday to push the trial back to Oct. 29 so the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can rule first on their appeal of his July 8 ruling, according to court documents they filed.

Hunter and his wife were indicted in August of 2018 on charges they used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses ranging from groceries to golf trips and family vacations. Prosecutors have also said Hunter spent campaign money on a string of extramarital affairs.

The Marine combat veteran has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty this summer to one corruption count and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Defense lawyers argued in July before U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan that the case should be dismissed because prosecutors were politically motivated and got the 42-year-old congressman indicted only months before the 2018 election.

Duncan Hunter's lawyers say if a trial happens it should be moved to a congressional district that is more Republican friendly.

Whelan said Duncan Hunter — a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump — easily won re-election to a sixth term after being indicted and therefore he should be able to be tried fairly here. He also disagreed prosecutors were on a political hunt and refused to toss the case.