Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on one count of “concealing information” and two counts of “making false statements to federal authorities” in the course of an investigation into suspected illegal campaign contributions from a foreign national in his 2016 Congressional race. Each of the three charges against the Nebraska lawmaker carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison if served consecutively totaling 15 years behind bars. The events as laid out by the Congressman and supported by an objective view of the developing story, give every hallmark of a politically motivated attack, using the Department of Justice as a cudgel against a political foe.
According to The Hill,
“The charges stem from an FBI investigation into $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire, that were funneled through a group of Californians between 2012 and 2016 to four American politicians.
The contributions included $30,000 that went to Fortenberry’s 2016 reelection campaign during a fundraiser held in Los Angeles.
Foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to U.S. election campaigns. Chagoury made an agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in 2019 in which he agreed to pay a $1.8 million fine.
The co-host of Fortenberry’s 2016 fundraiser allegedly informed the lawmaker in June 2018 that the campaign donations, which were allegedly made through other people so they could circumvent individual donor limits, “probably did come from Gilbert Chagoury.”
But the indictment alleges that Fortenberry did not file an amended report with the Federal Election Commission.”
Congressman Fortenberry addressed his constituents by a video uploaded to Youtube to explain the situation and refute the Biden-Harris DoJ’s charges, he said, “I told them what I knew and what I understood,” he said. “They’ve accused me of lying to them and are charging me with this.”
“We will fight these charges. I did not lie to them,” Fortenberry added “This is wrong on so many levels.”
Fortenberry, The Latest GOP Lawmaker By Biden DoJ Targeted Plead Not Guilty
On October 20th Congressman Jeff Fortenberry pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. In a virtual appearance in Los Angeles Federal Court, the nine-term Republican lawmaker was ordered to post a $50,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with any prosecution witnesses without attorneys. GOP Representatives Don Bacon and Adrian Smith, both members of the Nebraska House delegation have spoken out in support of Congressman Fortenberry with Smith describing him as “committed to serving Nebraskans, and I am confident that commitment has not wavered.”
According to The Lincoln Journal-Star,
“Though the congressman didn’t ascribe a political motivation to the indictment, his wife did.
She said in a statement emailed to supporters early Tuesday that the expected indictment “has all the marks of being a political attack, a bogus charge manufactured to take him out.“This accusation is entirely false. Jeff did not lie to the FBI,” she said.
At a rally in Nebraska on October 20th President Trump even lent his support told the gathered audience, “Isn’t it terrible that a Republican Congressman from Nebraska just got indicted for possibly telling some lies to investigators about campaign contributions,” Trump said in a statement, before pivoting to his own grievances against political opponents. “Is there no justice in this country?”