Convicted Ex-Nebraska Rep. Fortenberry Begins Appeal

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska began the process of filing an appeal Wednesday, one day after he was sentenced to two years of probation for lying to FBI agents about an illegal campaign contribution from a Nigerian billionaire.

Fortenberry, a Republican, made clear after he was found guilty in March that he intended to challenge his federal conviction.

His new attorney, Glen E. Summers, said in a statement that the federal law used to convict Fortenberry is “far too susceptible to abuse.”

Fortenberry was charged federally after two meetings with FBI agents where he denied knowing that a $30,000 campaign contribution had come to him from a foreign national, which is illegal. At Fortenberry's sentencing, U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld said the congressman “turned a blind eye and deaf ear” to warnings that the donation was improper.