Fortenberry’s attorney: He was confused, not lying to FBI

February 5, 2022 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Attorneys for Rep. Jeff Fortenberry argue in court filings that the Nebraska Republican was confused, rather than lying, when he spoke to FBI agents investigating an illegal donation to his campaign.

In pretrial briefs filed Friday, Fortenberry’s attorneys asked that the nine-term congressman’s full statement to the FBI be played for jurors at his trial. They argue that would show the repetitive questioning of the agents and that Fortenberry was confused, The Omaha World-Herald reported.

His attorneys also want to call an expert on memory to testify at the trial, and questioned the political leanings of the lead prosecutor.

Fortenberry has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he lied to federal authorities investigating the campaign contribution from a foreign national.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles.

In response to the filings, prosecutors said Fortenberry’s expert would not offer new insight into memory, and being required to play Fortenberry’s entire statement limits prosecutors’ right to present the case as they see fit.

Prosecutors also said the defense’s suggestions that lead prosecutor Mack Jenkins has political reasons to prosecute Fortenberry is nonsense. They said Fortenberry is an obscure congressman from Nebraska, and the campaign donor under investigation donated to Democrats and Republicans.