The House Ethics Committee told Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who pleaded guilty in his criminal case this week, that he needs to stop voting.
Committee chair Ted Deutch (D-FL) and ranking member Kenny Marchant (R-TX) sent a letter to Hunter laying out a House rule mandating that convicted lawmakers “should refrain from voting on any question at a meeting of the House or of the Committee of the Whole House” unless they’ve been exonerated or reelected after their conviction.
“This provision of House Rules was promulgated to preserve public confidence in the legislative process when a sitting Member of Congress has been convicted of a serious crime,” Deutch and Marchant wrote.
They warned Hunter that while the rule is not binding, “you risk subjecting yourself to action” by the committee and the House if he violates it.
On Tuesday, Hunter pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to steal campaign funds after he was indicted for using $250,000 in campaign donations on personal luxuries, including extramarital affairs.
The congressman, scheduled to be sentenced on March 17, faces up to five years in prison.
Hunter had originally pleaded “not guilty” and insisted in a Trumpian fashion that the case was a “witch hunt,” then he suddenly announced on Monday his intention to switch pleas.
The Republican lawmaker has not announced whether he plans to resign, but his spokesperson told TPM via email that he is “currently in DC discussing next steps with Republican leadership.”
“He will have an announcement on his future plans when he has concluded those discussion,” the spokesperson said.
Read the letter below: