Dec 6, 2019 - Politics

Duncan Hunter to resign from Congress

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) on Dec. 3 in San Diego, California. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) announced his resignation from Congress on Friday, three days after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

The state of play: Hunter's exit also comes a day after the House Ethics Committee instructed him to stop voting in light of his guilty plea. Hunter's plea agreement said he and his wife spent over $150,000 of campaign funds on personal expenses, including meals and luxury vacations, per CBS News.

“Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress. It has been an honor to serve the people of California’s 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years.”
— Duncan Hunter's statement on Friday, per CNBC

Go deeper: Ethics Committee instructs Duncan Hunter to stop voting in the House

What's next

Ethics Committee instructs Duncan Hunter to stop voting in the House

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) in Sept. 2018. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The House Ethics Committee instructed Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) to stop voting in the House on Thursday in light of his guilty plea to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for his personal expenses.

The big picture: Hunter has not answered reporters' questions on whether he intends to resign from the House entirely, following his guilty plea on Tuesday. He insisted in 2018 that he would not resign after being forced to step down from all committee assignments, per the New York Times.

Duncan Hunter says he'll plead guilty in corruption case

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) told KUSI News on Monday that he will plead guilty on one count of misuse of campaign funds.

The big picture: Hunter's scheduled plea change — first hinted at in documents filed in federal court, per the San Diego Union-Tribune — comes six months after his wife changed her own plea. The couple was indicted in 2018 on allegations that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use, including on gas, groceries, lavish dinners and vacations.

Biden promises restrictions on Hunter, family if elected

Former Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with "Axios on HBO," promised to prohibit his son Hunter, and other family members, from cashing in on his name and position overseas if he wins the presidency. 

Why it matters: Questions may intensify as impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump move to the Senate and the Iowa caucuses approach. Biden already has drawn scrutiny for allowing his son to get paid handsomely by a Ukrainian business while the VP led the Obama administration's anti-corruption push in Ukraine.