Representative Jeff Fortenberry opened a legal fees fund on August 27 to pay for costs associated with an FBI investigation into a foreign national’s efforts to illegally provide money for political campaigns, including that of the Republican of the Nebraska.
A spokesperson for Fortenberry said the FBI was, at one point, investigating a case involving the lawmaker’s political campaign, but it is not known where the investigation is currently. Axios first reported on the Fortenberry case.
“It has already been reported that the FBI has investigated an attempt by a foreign national to illegally funnel money into US political campaigns, including that of Representative Fortenberry,” Fortenberry spokesman said in a statement. communicated. “The people involved in this scheme have been prosecuted and no charges have been laid against him. This legal fees trust was established in part to meet the costs associated with this investigation. “
Members are authorized by the House Ethics Committee to open a legal fees fund in which they can receive donations of up to $ 5,000 in any calendar year from an individual or organization to pay legal bills that arise in connection with their candidacy for federal office or public office. . The fund can also be used to defend a member against criminal prosecution or a civil case relating to the ability of the legislature to perform its duties. Registered lobbyists and foreign agents cannot contribute to the legal fee fund.
Duncan Hunter, a former Republican lawmaker from California, used a legal fee fund when he was sued by the Justice Department for embezzling campaign funds for personal gain.