Jeff Fortenberry Email

10/19/21, 3:52 PM I wanted you to hear from me first ag=en&cid=397945b9-c6b5-4c74-9723-99e6be053af3#/main 1/5
Dear Friend,
Jeff and I have two pieces of news to share with you. One very bad, one very
The bad news is something we never thought we’d have to endure. Y ou’ve been
a friend and supporter for so long, and you deserve to hear it from us firsthand.
Jeff and I made a short video so you could hear from him directly:
I wanted y ou to hear fr om me I wanted y ou to hear fr om me

10/19/21, 3:52 PM I wanted you to hear from me first ag=en&cid=397945b9-c6b5-4c74-9723-99e6be053af3#/main 2/5
But here’s the news: a California prosecutor is indicting Jef f, accusing him of
lying to the FBI.
Let me say right off that it is a false accusation.
Jeff’s entire career has been marked by his honesty and integrity . His enemies
try to accuse him of many things, but never lying. His opponents may not agree
with him, but they know they can trust him.
Let me say it again: this accusation is entirely false. Jeff did not lie to the FBI.
This has all the marks of being a political attack, a bogus char ge manufactured
to take him out.
I can’t go into every single detail, but you deserve to hear as much of this story
as we’re able to tell you. I am hoping and praying that you’ll continue to stand
with Jef f. We want you to make that decision with as much information as we
can provide.
This all started during the Obama Administration, when ISIS was exterminating
Christians, Y azidis, and other religious minorities in Iraq. Jef f worked
unbelievably hard to save them, including leading a bipartisan resolution
condemning the persecution and calling for international humanitarian
intervention. And he pushed a resistant State Department to declare it a
genocide (eventually with the help of Secretary John Kerry).
In 2016, a Lebanese community in Los Angeles held a weekend of celebrations
which included a fundraiser for Jeff, and an event during which Jeff was
inducted into the Order of St. Gregory , a knighthood bestowed by the Pope, for
his service to persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

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The weekend was lovely , the knighthood was a tremendous honor , and the
fundraiser was a good one for Jeff–he raised approximately $37,000. What he
didn’t know was that a foreign national had given attendees $30,000 to give to
Jeff. In other words, many of the donations were illegal. Again, Jef f had no idea.
(The FBI investigated this crime, and by the time they were interviewing Jef f
they knew he had nothing to do with it.)
In 2019, in the aftermath of the Bomb Cyclone, two men knocked on our door
here in Lincoln. They told me they were FBI agents and they wanted to talk to
Jeff. I have to admit that scared me, a lot. W e’ve had obscene signs left in our
yard, nasty political messages from neighbors, phone calls and emails
threatening physical harm or death to Jeff and the rest of us, suspicious
packages, and more–I had no way of knowing if these men were who they said
they were.
If I had known the hell this California prosecutor was planning to put us
through, I think I would have preferred that they be pretenders. The truth has
turned out to be more terrifying: they were men invested by our government
with real power, and their intentions toward Jef f were not good.
Jeff did agree to speak with them (note: don’ t ever do that–your innocence
won’t protect you) without a lawyer (ditto) in our living room, but he did call
the police and ask them to stay for the conversation, because the story the FBI
used to gain access to our home kept shifting.
The agents said they needed his help. Jef f assumed he was one federal official
helping other federal officials in the cause of justice. His instinct, as yours
would be, was to help. So, he talked to them.
The scene was upsetting, so afterward Jef f called his friend Trey Gowdy, with
whom he had served in Congress, for advice and legal representation. Jef f
volunteered to give a follow-up interview with the DOJ (this time in DC). At

10/19/21, 3:52 PM I wanted you to hear from me first ag=en&cid=397945b9-c6b5-4c74-9723-99e6be053af3#/main 4/5
every step the agents and prosecutors assured and reassured Jef f and Trey that
Jeff was not a tar get. They knew he had no knowledge of the illegal donations,
and was in fact a victim of that crime.
And then, radio silence from the prosecutors– until the Trump Justice
Department became the Biden Justice Department; and this California
prosecutor was in the running for a big promotion; and don’ t forget the mid-
term elections right around the corner for control of the House. Only then did
the prosecutors announce that they were poised to seek an indictment accusing
Jeff of lying.
Jeff has excellent representation, including the continued support of T rey
Gowdy, and he’ s got the truth on his side. But even an accusation is a hard
reputational hit. A false accusation is a particularly nasty hit. And the process
could take years.
I don’t know why we have been called to fight this fight. But we are fighting it,
with everything we’ve got, for our family and for America. Maybe we can help
stop people in power from using the Justice Department as a weapon against
their political enemies.
By the way , Jeff is having to fight this legal battle while he is also working to
rescue American citizens and Afghani Christians and allies stranded and in
danger in Afghanistan–rescues the Biden State Department continues to
I know this is long, but I promised good news: W e are grandparents! Our
daughter and son-in-law are the happy parents of a baby girl, and we are
grateful and thrilled! We praise God for this beautiful gift of new life–always
and everywhere a blessing.
Thank you for standing with Jef f for so long. We both hope you will continue to
stand with him during this intense attack on his integrity . If you are so inclined,
we ask that you support us with your prayers, that we will have strength for the
fight, and that truth and justice will prevail.

10/19/21, 3:52 PM I wanted you to hear from me first ag=en&cid=397945b9-c6b5-4c74-9723-99e6be053af3#/main 5/5
God bless you.
Celeste and Jeff Fortenberry
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