Nebraska 1st-District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is asking a judge to toss out statements he made to federal authorities who were investigating 2016 illegal campaign contributions because he’d been assured he wasn’t their target.
A motion filed Tuesday in federal District Court in central California alleges that Assistant U-S Attorney Mack Jenkins persuaded the 9-term Republican to speak with him by assuring his lawyer that Fortenberry wasn’t a “target” of the investigation.
His current attorney argues that without the prosecutor’s assurances, Fortenberry and the first lawyer would never have agreed to the interview. Fortenberry has denied the charges. Federal prosecutors plan to respond to the congressman’s accusation in their court response to the motion.
The congressman is accused of lying to federal agents about a $30,000 contribution to his 2016 campaign that came illegally from a foreign billionaire. Fortenberry says he still didn’t know the source of the money when he talked to investigators 3 years later.