Republican U.S. Republican Nebraska’s Jeff Fortenberry says he will resign, effective March 31, after a California jury found him guilty of lying to federal authorities about illegal campaign grants from a foreign national.
Omaha, take it. – Nebraska Republican U.S. Republican Jeff Fortenberry resigned Saturday after a California jury found him guilty of lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign grant from a foreign national.
In a letter to the House, Fortenberry said he was resigning from Congress, effective March 31.
“It is an honor to work with you in the United States House of Representatives,” he said in the letter. “Due to the difficulty of my current situation, I can no longer serve effectively.”
Fortenberry’s resignation was opened with a poem, “Anyway,” which is associated with fellow Catholic Mother Teresa. One line of the poem says: “Whatever you spend years building, someone can destroy overnight. Build anyway.”
Fortenberry’s announcement came after concerted pressure from political leaders in Nebraska and Washington to force him to resign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Fortenberry to resign on Friday.
Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts said Fortenberry should “do the right thing for his constituents” and leave the office he has held since 2005.
Fortenberry was indicted in October after authorities said he lied in two separate interviews with FBI agents about his knowledge of an illegal contribution of $ 30,000 from a foreign billionaire’s campaign. He was interviewed at his home in Lincoln, Fortnberry, and then again with his lawyers in Washington, DC.
At trial, prosecutors presented recorded phone conversations where Fortenberry was repeatedly warned that the contributions came from Gilbert Chagori, a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent. The grants were funneled by three Strawmen to a 2016 fundraiser in Los Angeles.
Fortenberry’s withdrawal from the primary has led Sen to announce Mike Flood as a potential GOP nominee. The former Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, who has won support from Ricketts and former Governor Dave Heinmann, has a strong advantage in the Republican-leaning 1st Congressional District. Lincoln’s Democrat Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks is also running for the seat.
In a statement from his campaign, Flood thanked Fortenberry for “his many years of honorable service” and wished him and his family well.
“Working together, we will hold this seat in the hands of Republicans,” Bonya said, “with a commitment to continue fighting for our family, our economy and our conservative values in Congress.”
Pansing Brooks said Fortenberry’s suffix is an “awakening call” that the district needs a change.
In a statement Saturday, Pansing Brooks said: “This opens the door to a new way of serving (the 1st Congressional District). I am ready and able to meet that challenge and lead honestly. “
Both Flood and Pansing Brooks will run in the by-elections to fill the seat, and will run in November to run for office.
Nebraska Primary 10 May. Because counties have already sent ballots to military members serving abroad and other absentee voters, it is too late to remove Fortenberry’s name from the initial ballot. Electoral officials say there is no time to hold special elections in line with the preliminary election.
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