A federal appeals court has overturned the conviction of a former Republican congressman. And you won't be surprised as to why.
Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s (R-Neb.) was convicted of lying to the FBI about an illegal campaign contribution last year. The alleged false statements were made during interviews in Nebraska and Washington, D.C.
But the Biden administration tried him in Los Angeles.
“Fortenberry’s trial took place in a state where no charged crime was committed, and before a jury drawn from the vicinage of the federal agencies that investigated the defendant,” U.S. District Judge James Donato wrote in his ruling. “The Constitution does not permit this. Fortenberry’s convictions are reversed so that he may be retried, if at all, in a proper venue."
Fortenberry received two years of probation, a $25,000 fine, and more than 300 hours of community service as a result of his conviction.
“We are gratified by the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Celeste and I would like to thank everyone who has stood by us and supported us with their kindness and friendship,” Fortenberry told The Hill in a statement.
More from The Hill:
Authorities charged Fortenberry after interviewing him, as they investigated a $30,200 donation from a Nigerian businessman to the then-congressman’s campaign at a 2016 fundraising event in California.
Federal law prohibits campaign contributions from foreign nationals to any local, state or federally elected official.
But prosecutors did not charge Fortenberry over the contribution itself, instead prosecuting him on two counts of making false statements and one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts.
During interviews with the FBI, Fortenberry told investigators that he was unaware of any illegal contributions to his campaign. But court filings indicate the agency had listened into an earlier phone call, in which a cooperating witness told Fortenberry that the Nigerian businessman was likely the source of the $30,200 donation.
The FBI interviews took place at Fortenberry’s home in Lincoln, Neb., and in his lawyer’s office in Washington, D.C.
For anyone who’s been paying attention to the abuses of the Biden administration, this story is not shocking at all. The politicization of the Justice Department under Joe Biden is well documented, especially regarding the investigations of Donald Trump and Hunter Biden.
Last year, after Judge Maryellen Noreika ripped up Hunter Biden's sweetheart plea deal, the Biden administration filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Hunter and relocate the case to a new venue—and thus, a new judge—in either California or Washington, D.C..
Related: It Looks Like the Biden Administration Pressured a Resistant FBI to Raid Mar-a-Lago
The tactics of Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Donald Trump, have also been widely criticized. Biden's Justice Department also refused to charge Joe Biden for mishandling classified documents after charging Trump for the same offense. Trump kept documents secured at Mar-a-Lago, where he had Secret Service protection. Biden kept his classified documents in boxes in his garage in Wilmington, Del., while his crackhead son Hunter Biden was living there.