SAN DIEGO — U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan ruled against an effort by U.S. Representative Duncan L. Hunter to change the venue of his trial. Hunter will not be able to have the trial moved from San Diego to the Eastern District of California. And, none of the charges will be dismissed as requested by Hunter’s counsel. Hunter claimed bias on the part of prosecutors.
The Republican Congressman is facing charges that he looted more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use. Among other things, it is alleged that he used the money to help fund five extramarital affairs, including with lobbyists and a woman staffer.
Hunter was first elected to the House in 2008. In his 2018 re-election bid, Hunter narrowly defeated Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar by a vote of 52 to 48 percent. The trial is expected to begin in September.