Hunter is scheduled to be sentenced in March and faces a maximum of five years in prison, though he is expected to serve less than one year.
The six-term congressman and his wife, Margaret, were indicted last summer and accused of spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, including vacations, household items and school tuition. Hunter was reelected in 2018 after initially pleading not guilty and denying wrongdoing.
“Whatever my time in custody is, I will take that hit,” Hunter said Monday in an interview with San Diego-based TV station KUSI. “My only hope is that the judge does not sentence my wife to jail. I think my kids need a mom in the home.”
Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiring with her husband to spend $25,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
That month, prosecutors alleged that Rep. Hunter had used campaign money to fund trips, dinners and drinks with women with whom he was romantically involved — three lobbyists, a woman who worked in his congressional office and another who worked for a member of House leadership.
“I think it’s important that people know that I did make mistakes. I did not properly monitor or account for my campaign money,” the San Diego Republican told KUSI on Monday.
Hunter did not cast votes in the House on Friday, one day after the House Ethics Committee warned him not to in a sternly worded letter. He relinquished his committee assignments last year.
His move to resign after Christmas probably means Hunter will collect one last full government paycheck. House members get paid monthly, on the last business day of each month.
Mike DeBonis and Felicia Sonmez contributed.