May 24, 2022

Nebraska’s Rep. Jeff Fortenberry stepping down following indictment over massive international donation to his campaign

Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska has announced his resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a report by The Blaze

Fortenberry’s announcement came on Saturday and The Associated Press reported that it was in response to a conviction from a California jury in the charge that he lied to federal authorities about an illegal campaign donation he received from a foreign national.

“It has been my honor to serve you in the United States House of Representatives,” Fortenberry said in a letter to his constituents. “Due to the difficulties of my current circumstances, I can no longer effectively serve.”

The Republican’s resignation was not without drama, however. According to The Blaze, in his letter of resignation, the Nebraska Republican featured a poem believed to have been written by Mother Teresa titled, “Do it Anyway,” which says, “What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.”

Fortenberry’s design to resign from Congress was partially due to political pressure from Nebraskans and politicians in Washington, including both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, pushing him to step down.

The Republican Governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, said that Fortenberry should “do the right thing for his constituents” and vacate the political office he has held and won re-election to since 2005.

The soon-to-be-former Nebraska representative was indicted after evidence came to light that he lied to FBI agents about knowledge of an illegal $30,000 contribution made to his campaign from a foreign billionaire, according to The Blaze.

“During his trial, prosecutors played recorded phone conversations in which Fortenberry was repeatedly warned that the $30,000 donation to his campaign came from a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent,” the publication reported. “The money was funneled into his campaign’s financial apparatus through three strawmen who attended a 2016 fundraiser in Los Angeles, California.”

FBI agents interviewed the lawmaker about the donations at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska and in the presence of his attorneys in Washington, D.C.

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