GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment

GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment
© Greg Nash

A Republican House member has stepped down from his committee assignments on Wednesday following an indictment on Tuesday on charges involving campaign contributions.

On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Jeff FortenberryJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FortenberryGOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Democrats optimistic after Biden meetings Trump defends indicted GOP congressman MORE’s (R-Neb.) resignation from his committee assignment on the House Appropriations Committee was accepted without objection, the House Office of the Clerk noted in its floor summary.

Fortenberry had written a letter to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDole in final column: 'Too many of us have sacrificed too much' Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda House to vote on Uyghur bill amid diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics MORE (D-Calif.) in which he said his stepping down from his committee assignments would be temporary and that he was "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me," according to Axios.

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Republican House rules note that indicted members have to relinquish their committee assignments.

The Hill has reached out to Fortenberry’s campaign office for comment.

On Tuesday, the GOP congressman was hit with three charges — two counts of making false statements to federal investigators and one count of scheming to conceal material facts — in connection with campaign contributions he received during his 2016 campaign.

The indictment alleges that a Federal Election Commission amended report had not been filed by Fortenberry after the lawmaker had supposedly been told by a fundraiser co-host that some of the money he received, allegedly channeled through other people, had been given by Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury. 

U.S. election campaigns cannot receive money from foreign nationals.

The indictment claims that he instead “knowingly and willfully falsified, concealed, and covered up by trick, scheme, and device material facts” of the campaign contribution. The indictment also alleged he also made false or misleading statements to investigators that he was not aware of any foreign nationals making contributions to his campaign.

However, Fortenberry has denied any wrongdoing.

“We will fight these charges. I did not lie to them,” Fortenberry said in the videotaped statement. “This is wrong on so many levels.”