U.S. Republican Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) was found guilty on Thursday of withholding information and making false statements to federal authorities in an investigation into his illegal campaign contributions to the 2016 re-election campaign. A federal judge has convicted Fortenberry of three counts of aggravated robbery.
Fortenberry was charged with three counts of criminal mischief last October, including one count of lying and plotting to conceal material, and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators.
U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said in a statement that after learning of her illegal contributions to the campaign, Congressmen chose to cover up repeated violations of federal law to protect her job, her reputation, and those of her close associates. “The lies in this case threatened the integrity of the American electoral system and were designed to prevent investigators from learning the true source of campaign funds.”
The lawsuit alleges that an unnamed person, referred to in the document as “Person H,” co-hosted the 2016 fundraiser for Congressmen. According to the complaint, Fortenberry contacted the man in the spring of 2018 to discuss hosting another event. During a call in June 2018, the fundraiser told co-host Fortenberry that the $ 30,000 grant “probably came from a foreign national,” court documents said.
Fortenberry claims that an unknown person transferred money to his account without his knowledge. “About five and a half years ago, a man from abroad illegally transferred money to my campaign,” Fortenberry said in a YouTube video last year.
Fortenberry is due to be sentenced June 28. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
Jeff Fortenberry, 61, is one of 35 House Republicans who voted Jan. 6 to form a committee. He decided not to run in the 2020 elections, even after hinting otherwise.