New motions filed in Fortenberry case
“The California prosecutor leading this case is now trying to hide the evidence of his bias against Republicans and the deceitful tactics used in the set up of Jeff Fortenberry," said Chad Kolton, a spokesperson for Fortenberry's campaign.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Several new motions have been filed in Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s trial, where he faces federal charges.
Chad Kolton, a spokesperson for Fortenberry’s campaign released a statement on the new motions.
“The California prosecutor leading this case is now trying to hide the evidence of his bias against Republicans and the deceitful tactics used in the set up of Jeff Fortenberry. The prosecutor’s motions are designed to prevent the jury and the public from learning about his political donations during the investigation and from hearing all of Rep. Fortenberry’s conversation with the FBI that shows he answered their questions and tried to help them. For any trial to be fair, the jury and the public must see all of the facts that expose this unjust attack on Rep. Fortenberry.”
The first of two motions mentioned by Kolton would exclude evidence regarding political affiliations or activities of the members of the prosecution team.
The government writes in response to the defense, “defendant attempts several leaps of logic to tie these donations to a political bias against a defendant that tainted this prosecution.”
Fortenberry’s attorneys wrote back saying, “the defense has a right to present evidence that this investigation was not a search for the truth, nor was it the product of an authorized government function.”
The second motion would admit Fortenberry’s statements as non-hearsay, for context and evidence of his state of mind. Fortenberry’s attorneys wrote that the government plans to use a portion of statements from Fortenberry’s trial from March 23, 2019 and July 17, 2019 as evidence.
According to Kolton, the government did not specify which portions of the statements would be introduced in the trial.
The attorneys believe the jury could hear “misleading” or “incomplete” versions of the facts with the selected statements. The attorneys say the jury should hear the full statements in their entirety rather than selected portions or contextual statements given by the defendants.
The FBI alleges that Fortenberry lied to federal agents who investigated illegal contributions to his campaign.
Fortenberry’s charges include one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators looking into illegal contributions to his 2016 campaign. Fortenberry pleaded not guilty to the charges on October 20.