GOP congressman says he expects to be indicted for lying to the FBI

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Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) told supporters on Tuesday he expects to be indicted on allegations he lied to federal investigators.

Driving the news: In a video uploaded to YouTube, the congressman sat with his wife and dog in a vintage pickup truck as he announced federal prosecutors in California “accused me of lying, and are charging me with this.”

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  • “We will fight these charges. I did not lie to them,” Fortenberry added.

  • A spokesperson referred to the video when Axios called for comment.

The backstory: Fortenberry was one of a number of congressional Republicans who received what authorities said were illegal contributions in 2016 from a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire.

  • He said in his video that FBI agents approached him in 2019 to ask about the donations, and that he ended up sitting for multiple interviews.

  • “I feel so personally betrayed. I thought we were trying to help,” Fortenberry said of his conversations with investigators.

Catch up quick: Axios reported this month that Fortenberry was soliciting funds for a new legal defense fund with warnings he was under FBI investigation.

  • He’s hired attorneys with Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP, according to campaign finance disclosure forms. The firm is based in California, where Fortenberry said he is being charged.

  • His campaign sent an email Tuesday morning alerting supporters to the impending indictment.

  • “This has all the marks of being a political attack, a bogus charge manufactured to take him out,” it said.

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