GOP Rep. Fortenberry resigning after conviction for lying to FBI

Nebraska GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry will resign after he was found guilty of lying to the FBI last week, The Washington Post reported.

Fortenberry announced his resignation in a letter to colleagues two days after being convicted on three felony counts Thursday.

“It has been my honor to serve with you in the United States House of Representatives,” Fortenberry wrote.

“It has been my pleasure to call many of you friends. May God bless you as you labor for the good of our country, help those in need, and strive for what is right and just.”

Fortenberry posted a letter on his website telling his constituents that “due to the difficulties of my current circumstances, I can no longer serve you effectively.”

Fortenberry had been in the House of Representatives since 2005. His last day in the House will be March 31.

His conviction stemmed from statements given to the FBI over a straw-donor scandal involving Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire.

While Chagoury was prohibited by law from donating to any U.S. campaign because he’s a foreign national, he used other Americans to funnel $30,200 people to Fortenberry’s 2016 re-election bid at a Glendale, California fundraiser.

Disguising a donor’s identity through third parties is also illegal.

However, Fortenberry was convicted of lying to the FBI in two separate interviews. The indictment stated that the congressman “knowingly and willfully made materially false statements and representations to the FBI and IRS” about the donations.

Fortenberry maintained that “a person from overseas illegally moved money to my campaign” and that he “didn’t know anything about this.”

He plans to appeal the conviction.

However, GOP House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy made it clear he wanted Fortenberry out.

In a speech delivered to House Republicans at their annual retreat on Friday, McCarthy said the Nebraska representative “had his day in court.”

“I think if he wants to appeal, he could go do that as a private citizen,” McCarthy said. “But I think when someone’s convicted, it’s time to resign.”

One day later, he was on his way out.