GOP Rep. Fortenberry Steps Away From Committee Seat After Indictment

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb, stepped down from his committee assignments Wednesday after an indictment was issued Tuesday regarding campaign contributions.

According to The Hill, Fortenberry sent his resignation to the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday; it was accepted without objection.

Fortenberry added he was stepping away from his committee assignments only temporarily and he was “grateful for the outpouring of support from” his “friends and colleagues as” they “work against the injustice confronting” him.

Fortenberry was brought up on three charges Tuesday, for one count of “scheming to conceal material facts” and two counts of misleading federal investigators, all of which pertain to contributions he received during his 2016 campaign.

The indictment alleges Fortenberry had not reported to the Federal Elections commission a contribution he received from a Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, which was then given to other people and then to Fortenberry. In other words, the contribution given to him by other people was by proxy given to him by a foreign national.

In the United States, election campaigns cannot accept funds from foreign nationals.

The indictment states the congressman “knowingly and willfully falsified, concealed, and covered up by trick, scheme, and device material facts” pertaining to the campaign contribution.

But Fortenberry denies any wrongdoing.

“We will fight these charges. I did not lie to them,” the congressman said in a videotaped statement. “This is wrong on so many levels.”

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