Federal prosecutors have refiled charges against pro-life former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry in relation to allegations that he made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) amid an investigation into allegedly illegal campaign donations received by his 2016 campaign. 

Fortenberry was indicted on one count of falsifying and concealing material facts and one count of making false statements. He is accused of lying to the federal agents about his campaign receiving $30,000 in illegal campaign donations from a foreign national. 

The federal indictment accuses the former congressman of taking the money despite knowing that the donor was a foreign national and that receiving the money would violate the law. 

Fortenberry had previously been tried and convicted of these same crimes in March 2022, but the conviction was overturned in December 2023 after an appellate court ruled that he had been charged in an improper venue. Although he was tried in Los Angeles, the court ruled that he should have been tried in Washington, D.C., or Nebraska. 

The new charges were filed in Washington, D.C. 

Under the previous conviction, Fortenberry did not receive prison time but only probation and community service. 

Chad Kolton, a spokesperson for Fortenberry, said in a statement that the “case should never have been brought in the first place, and it shouldn’t have been pursued again,” according to Nebraska Public Media.

“The man the Biden Justice Department is about to spend massive amounts of time and money prosecuting for a second time,” Kolton said, “was described by the District Court judge in his previous trial as ‘by all accounts … a man of exceptional character. And when I say “by all accounts,” I don’t mean simply based upon one-sided submissions on the part of the defense. I mean by all accounts, including the evidence that was presented by the government at trial.’”

“This is a disgraceful misuse of prosecutorial power and an egregious waste of resources at the time when the Justice Department is letting actual crime run rampant,” Kolton added. 

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Fortenberry is a former Republican lawmaker from Nebraska from 2005 until 2022; he resigned one week after his conviction. He had an A+ rating from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and introduced the Care for Her Act in 2021, which would have facilitated support to women who face unplanned pregnancies. He also co-signed a congressional amicus brief that urged the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The former lawmaker represented Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District and was replaced by current Republican Rep. Mike Flood during a special election.