Lincoln, NE (June 29, 2022) Former First District Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s legal team filed a Notice of Appeal today with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Fortenberry is appealing his conviction under 35 U.S.C 1001, a broad federal statute prohibiting false statements to federal officers acting in any executive, legislative or judicial function. He was found guilty in January of lying to FBI Agents who were investigating campaign contributions from a foreigner.
Attorney Glen Summers issued the following statement after filing the appeal:
“This will be an important appeal, with potentially significant consequences far beyond Mr. Fortenberry’s conviction.
This case and other recent high-profile prosecutions, such as the indictment of General Flynn, show that the federal false statements statute is far too susceptible to abuse. We look forward to presenting these issues on appeal and hopefully helping to rein in the weaponization of Section 1001 by federal law enforcement agencies.
We also have reason to believe that necessary approvals for the use of deceptive tactics on the Congressman were obtained by the FBI agents in this case on the basis of false and incomplete information provided to them by the lead case agent. In parallel with the appeal, we expect to file a complaint with the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to get to the bottom of these concerns.”
Fortenberry was sentenced yesterday to two years probation, a $25,000 fine, and community service.