Nebraska US Rep. Fortenberry found guilty in campaign probe


LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska was convicted Thursday on charges that he lied to federal authorities about an illegal $30,000 contribution to his campaign from a international billionaire at a 2016 Los Angeles fundraiser.

A federal jury in LA deliberated about two hrs ahead of discovering the nine-expression Republican guilty of concealing details and two counts of building phony statements to authorities. Fortenberry was billed soon after denying to the FBI that he was informed he had been given illicit resources from Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent.

Fortenberry confirmed no emotion as the verdict was read through but his youngest daughter started sobbing uncontrollably in the entrance of the gallery as her mother attempted to console her. Following the jury left the courtroom, Fortenberry walked more than to his spouse and the two of his five daughters who had been existing and clasped them in a hug.

Outside the house the courthouse, Fortenberry reported the system experienced been unfair and he would enchantment right away. He would not say if he would suspend his marketing campaign for reelection, expressing he was heading to spend time with his relatives.

“I’m acquiring so many wonderful messages from people basically all all over the world, who’ve been praying for us and pulling for us,” he explained.

The choose set sentencing for June 28. Each rely carries a opportunity 5-yr prison sentence and fines.

It was the first trial of a sitting down congressman because Rep. Jim Traficant, D-Ohio, was convicted of bribery and other felony expenses in 2002.

Fortenberry, 61, did not testify but his attorneys argued at trial that he was not aware of the contribution and that agents directed an informant to feed him the data in a 10-moment contact to set him up.


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