(Washington, D.C.) -- Nebraska U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is expecting to be indicted on charges that he lied to the FBI.
In a video posted to YouTube, Fortenberry says that five and a half years ago a foreign national illegally gave money to his campaign with the help of Americans. Fortenberry says hedid not know that overseas money was given to his campaign, and that all of those responsible were caught and punished. Fortenberry goes on to say that two and a half years ago, FBI agents arrived at his home to ask questions which he answered. He says he later answered more questions and told them what he knew and what he understood.
Fortenberry says FBI agents ended up accusing him of lying to them. "They've accused me of lying to them, and are charging me with this. We're shocked. We're stunned. I feel so personally betrayed. We thought we were trying to help and so now, we will have to fight."
In a message from Fortenberry’s campaign, his wife Celeste called it a false accusation that has, “all the markings of being a political attack, a bogus charge manufactured to take him out.” In her campaign message, Celeste Fortenberry explained that in 2016, a Lebanese community in Los Angeles held a weekend of celebrations which included a fundraiser for her husband. Celeste says during the event, the Congressman was, “inducted into the Order of St. Gregory, a knighthood bestowed by the Pope, for his service to persecuted Christians in the Middle East.”
Celeste says her husband raised about $37,000 at the event and that, unknown to him, a foreign national had given people at the event $30,000 to give to the Congressman. She said many of the donations were illegal but her husband had no idea.