The Latest: Judge denies pretrial motions for congressman
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on the corruption case against California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter who is scheduled to go to trial in September, (all times local):
A federal judge has refused to dismiss federal corruption charges against U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter or move the trial outside his Southern California district as requested by the GOP lawmaker’s attorneys.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan in ruling from the bench Monday said the California Republican easily won re-election to a sixth term in 2018 after being indicted and therefore he should be able to be tried fairly in the district.
Defense lawyers also argued prosecutors are politically motivated and the case should be dismissed. Whelan says he found no evidence of that.
They wanted the trial moved to the Eastern District of California, where counties carried Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential elections are located, in contrast to California’s overall support for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The trial begins in September.
9:15 p.m. Sunday
A judge is expected to rule on a bid by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter to move his trial on charges that he looted campaign funds for personal use and even to dismiss the charges outright.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan in San Diego decided a flurry of pretrial motions last week but deferred some decisions until Monday to fully consider late filings. The California Republican’s trial begins in September.
The 42-year-old congressman wants to move the trial out of San Diego because of unfavorable news coverage.
Hunter and his wife were charged with using $250,000 in campaign funds for groceries, golf trips, family vacations and other expenses. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty to one corruption count and has agreed to testify against her husband.