Ex-GOP Rep. Fortenberry Sentenced to Probation

    Photo: CQ-Roll Call Inc [via NBC News]

    The Facts

    • Former Republican US Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was sentenced on Tues. for lying to federal authorities about an illegal, foreign campaign contribution.

    • Prosecutors alleged Fortenberry lied to federal agents about a total of $30k he received from a Nigerian billionaire in 2016. Donations from foreigners aren't allowed under federal law.

    The Spin

    Republican narrative

    This is a sad end to Fortenberry's career and not an accurate representation of him as a politician. He fairly represented voters for nearly two decades, focused on important issues including refugees and healthcare, and was an important player in bridging politics in a fractured nation. He made mistakes, like everyone does, but the price he's paying is high. Hopefully justice will be served during the appeal process.

    Democratic narrative

    A couple of years of probation and a small fine is a slap on the wrist for this type of infraction. Fortenberry should be facing jail time for his corruption, as federal prosecutors originally recommended. He knowingly lied to the FBI on multiple occasions to hide "straw" donations to his campaign. There is ample evidence of his crimes, so why such a light sentence?

    Political split



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