Jeff Fortenberry tried it.
The Nebraska congressman threw a complete lot of spaghetti in opposition to the wall after he bought caught mendacity to prosecutors about $30,000 of unlawful, international contributions funneled to his marketing campaign in 2016 by a Nigerian billionaire. Even earlier than the indictment got here down, he put out this video of himself with the missus and the canine, parked in a cornfield inside their “1963 Ford F100 pickup truck.”
Would a patriot like Rep. Fortenberry, a great, Christian man from Actual America, misinform the FBI? Unpossible!
“The brokers stated they wanted his assist. Jeff assumed he was one federal official serving to different federal officers in the reason for justice,” his spouse Celeste wrote to supporters final October. “His intuition, as yours can be, was to assist. So, he talked to them.”
(These wouldn’t be our instincts, as a result of we aren’t a bloody fool.)
As soon as the indictment dropped, Fortenberry’s attorneys filed an absolute blizzard of motions. Right here’s a partial listing of their calls for:
- a change of venue from California to Nebraska;
- that the prosecutor recuse himself;
- discovery into the social media posts and political leanings of the Justice Division attorneys on the case;
- discovery into the DOJ’s charging choices;
- suppression of the recording the place a witness instructed Fortenberry that the contributions have been unlawful;
- suppression of statements by his marketing campaign guide earlier than the fundraiser that she frightened it would internet them unlawful contributions;
- suppression of Fortenberry’s personal statements after the fundraiser noting that he’d simply obtained a number of checks from members of the identical household, a trademark of a strawman donation;
- to introduce a “reminiscence professional” who would testify that Fortenberry wasn’t mendacity, he simply forgot in regards to the unlawful donations as a result of the prosecutors have been so imply and requested him so many questions that it scrambled his laborious drive and he stated stuff that wasn’t true.
In the primary, US District Decide Stanley Blumenfeld Jr declined to offer the defendant what he requested for. And because it shook out, neither did the jury.
Yesterday Fortenberry was convicted on all three counts of constructing false statements to the FBI. The jury didn’t purchase his theories of entrapment or promissory estoppel (LOLwut?) and returned a verdict in lower than two hours.
Sentencing is ready for June 28, and Fortenberry was launched on his personal recognizance.
Republicans instantly demanded that Fortenberry vacate his Home seat. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts put out a press release calling on him to “do the best factor and resign so his constituents have that certainty whereas he focuses on his household and different affairs,” whereas Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy, all the time the image of bravery, noticed that “when somebody is convicted, it’s time to resign.”
Fortenberry maintained that he was simply one other sufferer of the Clinton takedown machine, focused for his staunch political views. However Lordy, there have been tapes, and now he’s getting shivved by the GOP.
Ah, properly, you tried.
Federal Jury Convicts US Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of three Felonies for Mendacity About Marketing campaign Donations [Law.com]
US v. Fortenberry [Docket via Court Listener]
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore the place she writes about regulation and politics.