Representative Jeff Fortenberry Expects to be Charged with Lying to FBI But Says Charges False | Government-and-politics
Paul Hammel Omaha World-Herald
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry expects the federal government to accuse him of lying to the FBI during its investigation into campaign contributions channeled to him by a Nigerian billionaire.
The nine-term Lincoln Republican has said he is wrongly accused.
âWe will fight these accusations. I didn’t lie to them, âFortenberry said in a videotaped statement obtained Monday by The World-Herald. “This is wrong on so many levels.”
Knowingly making false statements to a federal official is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A source close to the investigation said an indictment could fall as early as Tuesday.
The expected indictment arose out of an FBI investigation, launched in California under the Trump administration, into $ 180,000 in illegal contributions to the “conduit” campaign of Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese origin. . The contributions, channeled by a group of Californians from 2012 to 2016, went to four American politicians, including $ 30,200 to Fortenberry in 2016 and $ 10,000 to the former representative. Lee Terry, who represented the Omaha region, in 2014.
Fortenberry is apparently not in difficulty receiving contributions; his campaign said he didn’t know the money came from Chagoury. Instead, the congressman faces prosecution for what he said or did not say to officers during their investigation into the Chagoury scheme.