Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry is resigning following his conviction on charges of lying to investigates about illegal foreign campaign donations.
Fortenberry was charged after denying knowledge of $30,000 in donations to his campaign from Gilbert Chagouri, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, who had been accused of conspiring to make illegal donations to politicians in America.
“It has been my honor to serve with you in the United States House of Representatives,” the Nebraska congressman wrote in a letter to his colleagues. “Due to the difficulties of my current circumstances, I can no longer effectively serve.”
He had been pressured to resign by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Fortenberry was convicted on two counts of making false statements and one count of falsifying and concealing material facts, each count bringing with it a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison.
He continues to deny the charges and has indicated he will pursue an appeal.
BREAKING: A federal jury has convicted US Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska of charges that he lied to federal authorities about an illegal $30,000 contribution to his campaign from a foreign billionaire at a 2016 Los Angeles fundraiser. https://t.co/MD9E6s1xke
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 25, 2022
RELATED: Biden Repeats False ‘Fine People On Both Sides’ Claim, Attacking Trump In Front Of NATO Allies
Fortenberry Tried To Thwart Trump
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Representative Jeff Fortenberry was one of a number of Republicans who announced their opposition to the election of Donald Trump in 2016.
Fortenberry was among a list of those GOP lawmakers who sought to have Trump replaced following a leak of hot mic audio comments in which the GOP nominee bragged in locker room-style conversation about his exploits with women.
“As Americans we are faced with two strikingly bad choices: Donald Trump, who has abused women, and Hillary Clinton who has enabled the abuse of women,” he told the Omaha World-Herald at the time. “It’s all wrong.”
“For my part, I ask that Donald Trump step aside and allow Mike Pence to become the Republican nominee,” added Fortenberry.
The Nebraska congressman was also one investigation of 35 Republicans to vote in favor of an independent commission to the January 6 riot, allowing Nancy Pelosi to establish a biased Select Committee of exclusively anti-Trump lawmakers.
Congressman Smith votes against, Fortenberry and Bacon vote for Jan. 6 commission https://t.co/ai3YAFiUx8
— KNOP-TV (@KNOPTV) May 21, 2021
“Most Nebraskans desperately want a return to regular, peaceful order in Washington and the rest of America,” Fortenberry said in a statement following his vote.
“I am hopeful that this bipartisan commission helps us do that––by honestly, fairly, and thoroughly investigating the truth of what happened on and before January 6, including the culture of political violence that has plagued this country over the last several years, he added.
Here is the list of Republicans who are not supporting Trump https://t.co/tNJmDfEihq via @usatoday
— George Tom Settle (@GTSETTLE) March 10, 2021
RELATED: 35 House Republicans Vote For Democrat Bill To Establish 9/11-style January 6 Commission
Trump Defended Him
Oddly enough, one of the biggest voices to speak up in defense of Fortenberry following his indictment was former President Donald Trump.
“Isn’t it terrible that a Republican Congressman from Nebraska just got indicted for possibly telling some lies to investigators about contributions campaign, when half of the United States Congress lied about made-up scams?” Trump asked.
President Donald J. Trump:
“Isn’t it terrible that a Republican Congressman from Nebraska just got indicted for possibly telling some lies to investigators about contributions, when half of the United States Congress lied about made up scams, and when… pic.twitter.com/CV3E9bZJaT
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 20, 2021
Trump focused his comments on the many lawmakers, politicians, and intelligence officials who he believes to have lied about him in the past.
“Comey lied, Schiff lied, Crooked Hillary lied, McCabe lied, the two lovers, Peter and Lisa, lied,” Trump railed.
“They all lied having to do with Russia, Russia, Russia, because they knew it was a SCAM, and they all lied having to do with Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, because they knew it was a SCAM.”
Added Trump, “They made up fairy tales about me knowing how badly it would hurt the USA—and nothing happens to them.”
“Is there no justice in our country?”