Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Jeff Fortenberry
Pursuant to Committee Rule 7, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined to release the following statement:
On October 19, 2021, criminal charges against Representative Jeff Fortenberry were filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Pursuant to Committee Rule 18(e)(2) and Section 3(e) of House Resolution 8 of the 117th Congress, within 30 days of a Member being indicted or otherwise formally charged with criminal conduct, the Committee shall either establish an Investigative Subcommittee or report to the House describing its reasons for not establishing an Investigative Subcommittee.
In accordance with House Rule XI, clause 3, and Committee Rules 10(a)(2) and 18(e), the Committee unanimously voted to establish an Investigative Subcommittee. Pursuant to the Committee’s action, the Investigative Subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether: Representative Fortenberry’s 2016 congressional campaign may have accepted illegal contributions; and Representative Fortenberry engaged in a scheme to falsify and conceal material facts and/or made false statements, during a federal investigation into his campaign committee’s alleged acceptance of illegal campaign contributions.
The Honorable Susan Wild will serve as Chair of the Investigative Subcommittee, and the Honorable Michael Guest will serve as the Ranking Member. The other two members of the Investigative Subcommittee are the Honorable Colin Allred and the Honorable David Rouzer.
The Department of Justice has asked the Committee to defer consideration of the matters in the Investigative Subcommittee's jurisdiction. The Committee, following precedent, unanimously recommended to the Investigative Subcommittee that it defer action on its investigation at this time. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.