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Republican’s Conviction Overturned In Major Reversal Against DOJ

via KETV NewsWatch 7
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

A federal appeals court overturned the 2022 conviction of former Nebraska GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry for lying to the FBI, citing improper venue.

The case involved a donation from a Nigerian businessman to Fortenberry’s campaign, and the issue was not with the evidence but with where the case was tried.

The decision could impact future DOJ trials. (Trending: Donald Trump Breaks His Silence After Major Court Win)

“Fortenberry’s trial took place in a state where no charged crime was committed, and before a jury drawn from the vicinage of the federal agencies that investigated the defendant,” U.S. District Judge James Donato wrote.

“The Constitution does not permit this. Fortenberry’s convictions are reversed so that he may be retried, if at all, in a proper venue.”

“We are gratified by the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Celeste and I would like to thank everyone who has stood by us and supported us with their kindness and friendship,” Fortenberry said.

“There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

“Setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an ‘official act.’”

The ruling has raised questions about the DOJ’s handling of political cases, especially given the overturned public corruption cases and ongoing trials involving high-profile figures like Trump and Menendez.

“Why was that case brought in New York? The [Southern District of New York] and the Public Integrity Section did not want the case to be brought in New Jersey where [Menendez] has support,” former U.S. attorney Joe diGenova said.

“He was previously tried [in New Jersey] and the case failed. The case should be in New Jersey. They wanted to try Menendez in a place where he had no influence in the jury selection.”

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