Judge sets Sept. 10 trial for US Rep. Duncan Hunter

A judge has scheduled a Sept. 10 trial date for U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife on corruption charges, slightly more than a year after their indictments.

It was Hunter's first court appearance since defeating Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar last month by nearly 4 percentage points for a sixth term representing San Diego's eastern suburbs in Congress.

The congressman and his wife have pleaded not guilty to a 60-count indictment in August alleging they spent more than $250,000 in campaign finance funds on family trips, tequila shots, Costco shopping sprees and other items.

Hunter, 41, has called the charges a political witch hunt and said his wife oversaw his finances. She also was his campaign manager.

The Republican lawmaker and his wife, Margaret Hunter, entered court separately and had different lawyers. Duncan Hunter declined to speak to the media after the brief hearing as he was followed to his car outside the courthouse.

Attorneys for all sides told U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan that they expected the trial to last three weeks. The judge set a hearing for pretrial motions on July 29.



Dawn Kamber