Republican Star Resigning From Congress

( )- A Republican member of the House from Nebraska has announced that he will resign from his post after being convicted of two felony charges recently.
In a letter he sent to his supporters on Saturday, Jeff Fortenberry announced that he would step down from Congress as of March 31.
Last Thursday, the 61-year-old representative was found guilty of making false statements to federal authorities and also concealing information. Those charges pertained to an investigation that was taking a look at his 2016 campaign for re-election, in which he was accused of accepting illegal contributions.
In the letter he sent, Fortenberry said:
“Due to the difficulties of my current circumstances, I can no longer effectively serve.”
After the convictions were announced, the head of both the Democratic and Republican parties in the House called for him to resign. On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said:
“I think he had his day in court. I think if he wants to appeal, he can go do that as a private citizen. But, I think when someone’s convicted, it’s time to resign.”
As of April 1, there will now be a vacancy in the 1st Congressional District in Nebraska. A special election will have to be called by Republican Governor Pete Ricketts to fill that seat.
For months now, Fortenberry has said that he “didn’t know anything about this.” In a video that he uploaded to YouTube before the indictment was publicly announced last fall, he said:
“About five-and-a-half years ago, a person from overseas illegally moved money to my campaign.”
According to the indictment, this person — who remained unnamed — was a co-host for a fundraiser that was thrown for Fortenberry’s re-election campaign in 2016.
Almost two years later, in 2018, Fortenberry reached out to that same person to discuss possibly hosting another event. During that call in June of 2018, that person told the representative that $30,000 in donations “probably did come from” a foreign national.
Laws by the Federal Elections Commission prohibit any campaigns from taking donations from any foreign national.
The indictment continues to say that:
“Despite being told by Individual H (the unnamed person) about the illegal donations, defendant Fortenberry did not file an amended report with the FED regarding the 2016 fundraiser [and] did not return or otherwise try to disgorge the contributions.”
As of right now, the sentencing in Fortenberry’s case is scheduled for June 28. The U.S. Attorney’s office says that each of the two felony counts carry with it a statutory maximum penalty of five years spent in federal prison.
It’s unclear at this point whether Fortenberry plans to appeal this conviction.
Don Bacon, a Republican who represents the 2nd Congressional District in Nebraska, said that his soon-to-be former colleague “did the right thing” when deciding to step down from Congress.
He said:
“It’s always regrettable when someone hurts their life and hurts their family. And so, I wish Jeff well and his family well, and he’s going to do the appeals, but I believe in the justice system, and the justice system spoke.”