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Nebraska Congressman Fortenberry court update

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:58 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWT) - Lawyers for Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry went back to a federal courtroom in California on Monday afternoon where a judge heard arguments over dismissing or moving the case.

Back in California court, defense attorneys are hoping to have the charges against the Congressman dismissed, and after hearing arguments from both sides, it’s now all up to a federal judge.

Fortenberry is accused of concealing campaign finance information and making false statements to federal authorities after he allegedly accepted illegal campaign funds during a California campaign event and lied about the activity to a federal investigator.

A judge is now considering five motions from his defense, most notably motions to dismiss on lack of venue.

His lawyers claim Fortenberry was not questioned in California and since the alleged offense- didn’t take place there, it’s not a proper location for trial.

Earlier, Gray DC talked with Georgetown law professor Shon Hopwood extensively about the case. He said the DOJ has a long history of enforcing the statute against false statements. He also said he thinks it’s unlikely a judge will dismiss the counts.

“I have motions to dismiss in criminal cases are always an uphill battle because the facts aren’t truly known. And what most judges will say is the facts are should be determined, not by a judge prior to trial, but by a jury at the trial after evidence is presented,” Hopwood said.

It’s unclear when the judge will come back with a ruling.

Gray’s DC Bureau reached out to Fortenberry’s team, but they said they had no comment on Monday’s hearing.

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