Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) on Wednesday stepped down from his committee assignments after being indicted for lying to federal investigators amid a probe into illegal campaign donations.
What they're saying: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Fortenberry said he is "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me."
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The nine-term congressman cited GOP conference rules that members indicted on felony charges that may result in two or more years in prison must step down from their committees.
Fortenberry stressed that the move is "temporary," and concluded his letter by stating, "I look forward to taking up these committee assignments again once this matter is resolved."
Fortenberry serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and is ranking member of an Appropriations subcommittee overseeing agriculture and rural development.
The big picture: A federal grand jury charged Fortenberry with making false statements to the FBI about his knowledge of illegal contributions to his 2016 campaign by a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire.
The Department of Justice said in a statement Fortenberry failed to report the contributions when he allegedly learned of them in 2018, and that he told investigators in 2019 he was not aware of the contributions.
Fortenberry denied the charge in a YouTube video reported by Axios' Lachlan Markay, in which he stated, "I did not lie to them" and vowed to "fight these charges."