Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee’s agriculture panel, says he’s facing federal prosecution according to a new fundraising website.
The website was quickly taken down after multiple media outlets made inquiries but it said: “President Biden’s FBI is using its unlimited power to prosecute me on a bogus charge. Unlike Swamp Creature Nancy Pelosi, I’m a principled conservative who has NEVER abused my seat in Congress to get wealthy.
“And right now I’m facing the Deep State’s bottomless pockets.” According to Axios, records on file with the House clerk show Fortenberry set up the legal expense trust on August 27.
A Fortenberry spokesperson said: “It’s been previously reported that the FBI investigated an effort by a foreign national to illegally funnel money to U.S. political campaigns, including Rep. Fortenberry’s.
“The people involved in that scheme were prosecuted and no charges were filed against him. “This legal expense trust was established in part to address costs associated with that investigation.”
Fortenberry’s campaign committee retained a new law firm over the summer, according to Federal Election Commission records.
In June, it reported paying $25,000 to Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP, a California firm specializing in white collar criminal defense.
It was the campaign’s largest payment for legal services, to date.
His legal expense fund is now soliciting contributions of up to $5,000 per donor per year.
From Yahoo April 21:
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) made two false calls for emergency help from U.S. Capitol Police last week ― just to see how long it would take for officers to arrive, according to two Capitol Police officers.
Fortenberry told Capitol Police he wanted to test the duress button in his office, which signals an emergency situation.
It was an unusual request, but one that Capitol Police agreed to, these officers said. So when Fortenberry pushed the button, they didn’t respond, because they knew it was a test.
However, according to the officers, it turns out the Republican lawmaker wasn’t testing the device itself; he was testing how quickly police would come to his office. When they didn’t come, he pushed the button a second time.
Officers were almost to his office when they got word it was a test, so they turned back. This apparently upset Fortenberry, who concluded the officers were slow to respond.
A spokesperson for Fortenberry initially did not respond to multiple requests for comment. After the story published, his office provided this statement from Fortenberry’s chief of staff, Andrew Braner:
“The Congressman strongly supports the Capitol Police, which is why we constructively worked through an unfortunate delay during a test of the duress alarm system with the police on the phone.”
The legal expense fund donation page in which Fortenberry disclosed the FBI's investigation has now been taken down. It's archived here: https://t.co/ka1aB2Pkub— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) October 4, 2021