Pres. Trump pardons wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter

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SAN DIEGO – One day after pardoning former San Diego-area Rep. Duncan Hunter, President Donald Trump today granted a full pardon to Hunter’s wife, Margaret.

Trump offered much of the same reasoning for pardoning Margaret Hunter as he did for pardoning the former congressman, saying the case “should have been treated a civil case” by the Federal Election Commission, not a federal prosecution.

Like the former congressman, Margaret Hunter, who filed for divorce from her husband earlier this month, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, admitting using more than $150,000 in campaign money for personal expenses, including family vacations, restaurant and bar tabs and clothing, while falsely claiming the purchases were campaign related.

Margaret Hunter, who served as her husband’s campaign manager, was sentenced in August to eight months of home confinement and three years probation.

Duncan Hunter received a harsher sentence of 11 months in federal prison. He was set to begin serving that sentence in January, but Trump awarded him a full pardon on Tuesday.

Hunter, a Republican who represented California’s 52nd congressional district from 2009-13 and 50th congressional district from 2013-20, had planned to seek another term. He resigned from Congress in January following his guilty plea.

He repeatedly and publicly denied wrongdoing and accused the U.S. Attorney’s Office of a politically motivated prosecution. He maintained that two prosecutors on the case attended a La Jolla campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2015, then indicted him two months before the 2018 election due to his public endorsement of Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Amid the charges and public allegations, Hunter was re-elected in November 2018 with 51.7% of the vote, despite being indicted three months prior. He was first elected in 2008, succeeding his father, who held the congressional seat for 28 years.

Margaret Duncan pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds for personal use and was sentenced to home confinement and three years probation.

Trump on Wednesday issued pardons and sentence commutations for 29 people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, in the latest burst of clemency in his final weeks at the White House.

Trump has granted clemency to 49 people in the last two days either through pardons or sentence commutations.

List of new pardons

  • James Kassouf
  • Mary McCarty
  • Christopher Wade
  • Christopher II X, formerly Christopher Anthony Bryant
  • Cesar Lozada
  • Joseph Martin Stephens
  • Andrew Barron Worden
  • Robert Coughlin
  • John Boultbee
  • Peter Atkinson
  • Joseph Occhipinti
  • Rebekah Charleston
  • Rickey Kanter
  • Topeka Sam
  • James Batmasian
  • William J. Plemons, Jr.
  • Russell Plaisance
  • Mark Siljander
  • Stephanie Mohr
  • Gary Brugman
  • John Tate and Jesse Benton
  • Charles Kushner
  • Margaret Hunter
  • Paul Manafort
  • Roger Stone

List of new commutations

  • Daniela Gozes-Wagner
  • Mark Shapiro
  • Irving Stitsky

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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