(Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster)

A federal judge in the criminal case against Rep. Duncan Hunter ruled in an order filed Tuesday that a campaign-funded trip Hunter's family took to Italy was not legally-protected legislative activity, and neither were efforts to control political damage from a probe into his campaign spending.

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In this May 22, 2014, file photo, Kurt Busch, left, stands with Patricia Driscoll before qualifying for a NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Driscoll, the former girlfriend of Busch, has been charged with stealing from a military charity she led. She was indicted on two counts each of wire fraud, mail fraud, and tax evasion, and one count of attempts to interfere with administration of Internal Revenue laws. (Associated Press/Terry Renna)

A federal judge denied a motion for acquittal or a new trial for the former president of a veterans charity who was convicted last year of crimes related to spending the nonprofit's money on jewelry, shopping and other personal expenses.

Patricia Driscoll, 41, of Ellicott City, Maryland, was found guilty in November on two counts each of wire fraud and tax evasion and on one count of first-degree fraud, according to court records.

Driscoll led the nonprofit Armed Forces Foundation for 12 years. The charity was established in 2001 to promote veterans' emotional and physical health through outdoor activities and to give small grants to needy families.

Its co-founders included former California Rep. Duncan L. Hunter, who helped recruit Driscoll to run the nonprofit's day-to-day operations.

Driscoll resigned from it in July 2015 amid a scandal involving misuse of its funds.

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U.S. Army Sgt. Sinthia Rosario

Some of the military employees who collectively charged more than $1 million to government credit cards at casinos and strip clubs weren’t held fully accountable by managers, and officials didn’t act appropriately to prevent national security vulnerabilities and further misuse, according to a new federal report.

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