Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry Says Indictment Is ‘Wrong On Many Levels’
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb, was indicted Tuesday for allegedly lying to investigators looking for foreign donations for his congressional campaign.
Fortenberry, who represents the First Congressional District of Nebraska, was charged with two counts of conspiracy to falsify and conceal material facts and making false statements to federal investigators. US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Gilbert Chagauri, a Nigerian billionaire, made illegal contributions to the Fortenberry campaigns as well as several other GOP congressional races from 2012 to 2016.
In all, Chagauri contributed $180,000 to US election campaigns, which violated federal law. Of that, $30,200 went to Fortenberry’s campaign in 2016 through a group in California.
Fortenberry, who previously said he expected to be indicted, released a recorded statement on YouTube on Tuesday in which he denied the allegations and said he was unaware of foreign contributions.
Claiming that he had “personally betrayed,” Fortenberry said of the FBI agents: “I let them into my house. I answered their questions. Later we went back and answered further questions. I told them what I knew and understood.”
Nebraska Congressman Expects Indictment From FBI for Alleged Lying
“We will fight these allegations. I didn’t lie to them,” Fortenberry continued in the video, which was recorded in his pickup truck and also featured his wife and dog. “This is wrong on so many levels.”
If convicted of making a false statement to the FBI, Fortenberry could face up to five years in prison.
Fortenberry also called on his supporters to pray, “Hopefully this will all end happily for the sake of justice, for my own integrity, for the sake of the American system.”
Fortenberry has represented Nebraska in Congress since 2005.
Granthshala News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.