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Rep. Duncan Hunter. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images


Margaret Hunter, the wife of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), filed Wednesday a notice to change her not-guilty plea over the couple's co-indictment on federal corruption charges.

Why it matters: The fact his wife's now expected to plead guilty in a San Diego court on Thursday is a blow for Hunter, who's maintained his innocence ever since the couple was indicted in August. However, his attorney told KPBS his wife's appearance doesn't change anything regarding the congressman's situation.

There are still significant motions that need to be litigated, specifically the speech or debate clause of the U.S. Constitution."
— Rep. Hunter's attorney Gregory Vega's statement to KPBS

The big picture: The congressman and his wife were indicted over 60 charges concerning allegations they used $250,000 in campaign money for personal expenses and for falsifying campaign finance records.

  • Rep. Hunter was reelected in November elections.

Go deeper: Read the indictment against GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife

Go deeper

6 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.