Federal Prosecutor Says Fortenberry Lawyers Tainted FBI Agent | Regional government

In a transcript of his July 2019 interview with the FBI in Washington, DC, Fortenberry said he had been distracted during an interview four months earlier at his Lincoln home by an oncoming “bomb cyclone”. from causing epic flooding in Nebraska and with death threats. made against him.

Defense attorneys have filed a series of motions to dismiss the three crimes facing Fortenberry and to move his trial out of California. It was there that the congressman, during a fundraiser in 2016, received $ 30,000 in political donations which were later determined to come from Gilbert Chagoury, a billionaire of Lebanese descent born in Nigeria and interested. through the protection of Christians in the Middle East.

Federal government responds to Representative Fortenberry’s claim he was “trapped”

Prosecutors argue that Fortenberry repeatedly lied to federal agents in two interviews in 2019. They say the congressman was told, during a 2018 phone call from someone working with the FBI, that the $ 30,000 probably came from Chagoury, who knew Fortenberry. It is illegal for foreign nationals to donate to American political campaigns, either directly or, as in this case, through third parties.

In the most recent court file, prosecutors say Fortenberry lawyers violated a court rule to “meet and confer” before filing some of its motions. They also dismissed a defense claim that they withheld documents gathered as part of the federal investigation. Prosecutors said they have shared more than 12,000 pages of information dating back to 2015, and will share more once they determine who will testify at the trial, which is now scheduled to begin on February 15.

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