Nebraska Rep. Fortenberry seeks to move trial to February

November 12, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry has asked a federal judge to move his trial to February to give his attorney more time to review more than 11,600 pages of documents and more than 50 audio/visual recordings.

Attorneys for the nine-term Nebraska Republican filed the motion earlier this week. Prosecutors did not object to postponing the trial, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 14 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Defense attorneys said they also need time to conduct an independent investigation.

Fortenberry’s attorneys requested a new date of Feb. 15 and a final pretrial conference on Feb. 8. Such delays are common in federal trials because of the volume of evidence.

Fortenberry was accused last month of lying to the FBI and concealing information from agents about an investigation into illegal campaign donations from a Nigerian billionaire. He has pleaded not guilty.

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In court papers, prosecutors have said Fortenberry was repeatedly told that the donations to his campaign were illegal because they came from a foreign national, but he didn’t change his campaign disclosures and later asked about holding another fundraiser.

Defense attorneys also filed a motion this week to try to disqualify a prosecutor in the case.

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This story has been clarified to note that not all of the government materials produced are necessarily evidence.