Prosecutors Deny Fortenberry's Defense Claim of FBI Bias

Dec. 16, 2021, midnight ·

Filing in court case against Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
Filing in court case against Rep. Jeff Fortenberry

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Federal prosecutors are pushing back against claims made by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s lawyers that an FBI agent who investigated Fortenberry was biased.

Fortenberry has been charged with lying to the FBI about knowing that he received an illegal campaign contribution from a Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian citizen of Lebanese descent. Last month, Fortenberry’s lawyers asked for more information from prosecutors about FBI agent Todd Carter, who they claimed has an “anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bias.” The lawyers said Carter may have liked or shared anti-Muslim and anti-Arab cartoons on social media.

In their filing, prosecutors and Carter said he never approved, liked, or shared any such material. They describe the defense filing as a personal attack that essentially calls Carter a racist without providing evidence. And they ask that the defense filing be withdrawn and a cleaned up version be submitted. “While the damage to Agent Carter has already been done, such incendiary falsehoods should not be permitted to remain on a public docket absent any supporting evidence,” prosecutors write.

Fortenberry’s trial is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles in February.