Illegal $30K Donation Plot Outlined At Congressman’s Trial

Sketch of Jeff Fortenberry in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 17, 2022 courtesy 10/11 NOW

(KFOR NEWS  March 21, 2022)   LOS ANGELES (AP) – A close friend and supporter of a Nebraska congressman says he acted as a middleman in a plot to funnel $30,000 from a Nigerian-born billionaire to the Republican lawmaker’s reelection campaign by using straw donors.

Toufic Baaklini last week told a federal jury on the third day of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s trial in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that he received the funds from the son of businessman, Gilbert Chagoury.   He testified he then gave the cash to an L.A.-based doctor to distribute for the 2016 Fortenberry fundraiser in the city.

The nine-term congressman faces allegations he lied to federal investigators about the illegal contributions, which he denies.

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