U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter leaves federal court after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds, in San Diego, California, U.S., December 3, 2019. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a leading California Republican who pleaded guilty last month to a federal corruption charge of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, announced on Tuesday that he would resign from office effective Jan. 13.

Hunter, 43, whose conviction set off a scramble within the Republican Party to succeed him while seemingly boosting Democrats' chances to gain his seat, notified Governor Gavin Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by letter of his departure date.

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Congressman Duncan Hunter arrives just outside of Federal Court late Monday morning with his attorney Paul Pfingst. The government wants Pfingst disqualified for an alleged conflict of interest because another attorney at Pfingst's firm represents three witnesses who testified before the grand jury and are expected to to testify at trial. (San Diego Union-Tribune/Nelvin Cepeda)

After years of denials and claims he was the target of a political witch hunt, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday morning to change his plea of not guilty to charges stemming from a sweeping campaign finance investigation.

The announcement was posted on the U.S. District Court docket Monday morning without any supplemental documentation.
"Notice of change of hearing as to defendant Duncan D. Hunter," the docket entry states. "Change of Plea Hearing set for 12/3/2019 10:00 AM in Courtroom 3C before Judge Thomas J. Whelan."

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