Judge Moves Congressman Fortenberry’s Trial to February

Nov. 16, 2021, 9:32 a.m. ·

Jeff Fortenberry Headshot with the congressman in a dark suit and a yellow and blue striped shirt with the American flag over his shoulder.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Jeff Fortenberry)

US District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. approved a request to move Congressman Jeff Fortenberry's trial to February 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

On November 9, the defense and prosecution teams filed the initial agreement to move the trial. The judge signed the order November 15.

Fortenberry's lawyer John Littrell asked to push the trial back to have time to look over more than 11,600 documents and 50 media recordings filed to discovery in the case.

In the stipulation, signed by both Littrell and U.S. Assistant Attorneys Mack Jenkins and Susan Har, the defense wrote, "additional time is necessary to review the voluminous discovery and evidence in this case and to conduct and complete an independent investigation of the case to prepare the defense, including by meeting with and preparing potential witnesses, including possible expert witnesses."

The veteran Congressman was indicted October 19 for allegedly lying to the FBI and covering up illegal contributions to his 2016 congressional campaign.

The indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California charges Fortenberry tried to conceal a $30,000 contribution Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, funneled through other individuals at a Los Angeles fundraiser in 2016. In a video statement posted before the charges were filed, Fortenberry said he cooperated with the investigation, and is shocked that he would be charged.