Nebraska congressman looking for venue change in campaign finance case

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld held a status conference Tuesday afternoon to figure out the next steps in the case involving Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.). Fortenberry did not appear in person in the courtroom where his legal team filed a motion to change the venue of the case from Los Angeles to Nebraska.

Fortenberry’s campaign team tells the Gray Television Washington News Bureau that his lawyers want a venue change to speed up the trial process. The congressman’s attorneys argue the case is moving too slowly in California because of COVID concerns. They want to move proceedings to Nebraska where a trial date could be set and legal proceedings move more quickly. The judge did not make a decision on this motion Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney General for California has charged Fortenberry with concealing campaign finance information and making false statements to federal authorities after, they say, he accepted $30,000 in illegal campaign funds during a 2016 election event in California. The congressman denies the allegations.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s legal team has until Feb. 1 to reply to the motion. Fortenberry’s attorneys then have until Feb. 4 to respond to that reply. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 8 to go over other motions and briefs, and potentially to rule on the venue change.

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