The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: republican corruption

GOP Congressman Guilty Of Lying To FBI About Foreign Donations

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska has been facing federal criminal charges for lying to federal investigators. And on Thursday, March 24, a federal jury in Los Angeles found him guilty on three charges.

Prosecutors accused the GOP congressman of receiving illegal contributions from Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury during his 2016 reelection campaign and subsequently lying to federal investigators about it. Under U.S. law, it is illegal to receive campaign donations from foreign nationals in elections for the federal government.

Reuters reports, “Following a trial in Los Angeles federal court, the jury found Fortenberry guilty of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts, along with two counts of making false statements to federal investigators. Prosecutors accused Fortenberry of lying to investigators during two interviews in 2019 about $30,000 in campaign contributions he received in 2016 from Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury.”

Attorneys for Fortenberry, according to Reuters, “said he did not mean to mislead FBI agents but was caught off-guard by their interview request and suffered from a faulty memory.”

“Prosecutors alleged that an associate who hosted a 2016 fundraiser for Fortenberry told him, in a 2018 telephone call, that the donations in question ‘probably did come from Gilbert Chagoury’ but were routed through intermediaries to avoid individual donor limits,” Reuters reports. “According to the U.S. Justice Department, when FBI agents quizzed Fortenberry about the campaign contributions, he denied being aware of any illegal donations.”

After the jury’s verdict was announced, federal prosecutor Mack Jenkins told reporters, "If we want to expect anyone to follow the law, ultimately it starts with the lawmakers. I think that's even more paramount when the investigation itself goes to election integrity."

A hearing for sentencing is scheduled for June 28 in Los Angeles, where Fortenberry is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld. Each count carries a possible sentence of up to five years, meaning that he could spend a total of 15 years in federal prison if the maximum sentences are applied.

Fortenberry, now 61, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives via the Lincoln, Nebraska area in 2004.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Michigan Attorney General: ‘Absolutely’ Enough Evidence To Charge Electoral Fraudsters

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says there is “absolutely” enough evidence to charge the 16 alleged fraudsters who are accused of attempting to sign and submit a fake, forged 2020 Electoral College “certificate” representing themselves as the legal electors, claiming falsely that Donald Trump won their state in the 2020 election.

Nessel has requested the federal government investigate and prosecute the group of 16 Republicans, but said in a Tuesday press conference if they won’t she will. Why?

“It’s clear to me that this was not independent rogue actors that were unknowingly doing the same thing as they had done in many other states,” Nessel said, as Michigan Advance reports. “From a jurisdictional standpoint, we think it’s important because it allows for the federal authorities to determine if there was a conspiracy that was a multi-state conspiracy.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has reported that the forged, fake documents submitted to the federal archives by seven states were almost identical, down to the text and font. (The states Republicans submitted forged documents for are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.)

“I feel confident that we have enough evidence to charge should we decide to pursue that,” Nessel also said. “I think that it’s a better idea for the feds to pursue this.”

Last week Nessel told Maddow, “I think that you’re talking about a conspiracy, really, to overthrow the United States government.”

“They have committed, ostensibly, the most significant case of election fraud, ever, in our state’s history.”


Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Kanye West Presidential Bid ‘Orchestrated’ By Republicans

Kanye West turned heads last year when he announced his independent — and notably ill-fated — run for president. However, new reports indicate that his run for the White House really wasn't genuine at all.

Rather, it was a pseudo campaign run by Republican operatives "including advisers to the GOP elite and a managing partner at one of the top conservative political firms in the country," according to a new report published by The Daily Beast. The Grammy Award-winning rapper's presidential campaign is said to have been put in place solely for the purpose of siphoning votes from then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. To make matters worse, there is speculation that West's presidential campaign may have violated multiple federal election laws. Per The Beast:

"The Kanye 2020 campaign committee did not even report paying some of these advisers, and used an odd abbreviation for another—moves which campaign finance experts say appear designed to mask the association between known GOP operatives and the campaign, and could constitute a violation of federal laws."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) also reviewed hundreds of FEC filing documents for West's campaign. Jordan Libowitz, the government watchdog's communications director, has described the campaign's bookkeeping as "a disaster" even with "expert guidance" it reportedly received from Holtzman Vogel, a well-known law firm representing a number of major Republican figures.

“This was absolutely amateur hour. And his campaign paid a lot of money for those results,” Libowitz said.

Watchdogs have also indicated that there is reason to believe that West's campaign was strategically planned.

Libowitz continued, “It’s very clear that the whole point behind Kanye’s campaign was to try to re-elect Donald Trump. Whether that was a goal of Kanye is another issue. But he was clearly seen as a way to steal potential votes from Biden.

”He added, “It’s pretty clear Kanye was a GOP plant, whether he knew it or not.”

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

Special Gifts For Special People

Ho-ho-ho, wait till you hear about the gifts I gave to some of America's power elites for Christmas.

To each of our Congress critters, I sent my fondest wish that from now on, they receive the exact same income, health care and pension that we average citizens get. If they receive only the American average, it might make them a bit more humble — and less cavalier about ignoring the needs of regular folks.

To the stockings of GOP leaders who've so eagerly debased themselves to serve the madness of President Donald Trump, I added individual spritzer bottles of fragrances such as "Essence of Integrity" and "Eau de Self-Respect" to help cover up their stench. And in the stockings of Democratic congressional leaders, I put "Spice of Viagra" and "Bouquet du Grassroots" to stiffen their spines and remind them of who they represent.

For America's CEOs, my gift is a beautifully boxed, brand-new set of corporate ethics. It's called the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Going to pollute someone's neighborhood? Then you have to live there, too. Going to slash wages and benefits? Then slash yours as well. Going to move your manufacturing to sweatshops in China? Then put your office right inside the worst sweatshop. Executive life wouldn't be as luxurious, but CEOs would glow with a new purity of spirit.

To the Wall Street hedge fund hucksters who've conglomerated, plundered and degraded hundreds of America's newspapers, I've sent copies of Journalism for Dummies and offered jobs for each of them in their stripped-down, Dickensian newsrooms. Good luck.


And what better gift to the Trump family — Donald, Ivanka and Jared, Eric, Donnie Jr. and the whole nest of them — than to wish that they live with one another constantly and permanently? No, really, each of you deserve it.

Yes, I have finally mastered the art of finding perfect gifts for people on my list — gifts that rise above crass commercialism and are genuinely appreciated by the people who receive them. I wholeheartedly recommend such gift-giving to you.

This holiday season got me thinking about America's spirit of giving, and I don't mean this overdone business of Christmas, Hanukkah and other holiday gifts. I mean our true spirit of giving — giving of ourselves.


Yes, we are a country of rugged individualists, yet there's also a deep, community-minded streak in each of us. We're a people who believe in the notion that we're all in this together, that we can make our individual lives better by contributing to the common good.

The establishment media pay little attention to grassroots generosity, focusing instead on the occasional showy donation by what it calls "philanthropists" — big tycoons who give a little piece of their billions to some university or museum in exchange for a building named after them. But in my mind, the real philanthropists are the millions of you ordinary folks who have precious little money to give but consistently give of yourselves, and do it without demanding that your name be engraved on a granite wall.

My own daddy — rest his soul — was a fine example of this. With half a dozen other guys in Denison, Texas, he started the Little League Baseball program, volunteering to build the park, sponsor and coach the teams, run the squawking PA system, etc., etc. Even after I graduated from Little League, Daddy stayed working at it, because his involvement was not merely for his kids ... but for all. He felt the same way about being taxed to build a public library in town. I don't recall him ever going in that building, much less checking out a book, but he wanted it to be there for the community, and he was happy to pay his part. Not that he was a do-good liberal, for God's sake — indeed, he called himself a conservative.


My daddy didn't even know he had a political philosophy, but he did, and it's the best I've ever heard. He would often say to me, "Everybody does better when everybody does better." If only our leaders in Washington and on Wall Street would begin practicing this true American philosophy.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Accepting Biden Win, McConnell Aims To Shut Down GOP Denial

Accepting Biden Win, McConnell Aims To Shut Down GOP Denial

WATCH: Sen. Graham Urges GOP Victory In Georgia To ‘Protect’ Trump From Prosecutors

WATCH: Sen. Graham Urges GOP Victory In Georgia To ‘Protect’ Trump From Prosecutors

GOP Leader McCarthy Echoes Trump’s Lies About Vote Count

Kevin McCarthy GOP Leader McCarthy Echoes Trump’s Lies About Vote Count Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0