Congressman-elect Gianforte sentenced for assault of reporter

To settle any possible civil claims, Gianforte has apologized publicly to Jacobs and pledged to donate $50,000 to a nonprofit organization for journalists.
By Jason Spencer | Jun 13, 2017
Republican Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte appeared in a Montana court Monday and pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault against Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs, who said Gianforte "body-slammed" him at his campaign headquarters just before the Montana special election.

"I have asked questions of hundreds of politicians: congressmen, senators and even the man who is now our president," Jacobs told the court, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. "Mr. Gianforte's response was to slam me to the floor and start punching me."

Judge Rick West called Gianforte's actions "totally unacceptable" and ordered him to do 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management. Gianforte also paid Jacobs $4,464.97 in restitution.

To settle any possible civil claims, Gianforte has apologized publicly to Jacobs and pledged to donate $50,000 to a nonprofit organization for journalists.

"I have accepted his apology and fully expect his thoughtful words to be followed by concrete actions once he has taken his seat in Congress," said Jacobs. 'I even hope to be able to finally interview him once he has arrived on Capitol Hill."

Judge West imposed a harsher sentence than that recommended by Gallatin County Attorney Mary Lambert, who asked for no community service or anger management. But the judge stopped short at jail time, saying he did not think it would "serve the community or the taxpayers."

Gianforte has not addressed the false public statement issued immediately after the assault in which his campaign blamed Jacobs for the incident.

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