Greg Gianforte, the newly elected U.S. congressman from Montana who has been charged with assaulting a reporter last month on the eve of the election, will plead guilty to the charge. The “Billings Gazette” and “The Associated Press” reported the congressman’s decision to accept the charge. Gianforte’s opponents thought that body slamming a reported that close to voting would certainly hurt his chances of winning the election. But they were proven wrong when the Republican who lives in Bozeman won his seat in Congress.
U.S. Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte body slammed and broke the glasses of “Guardian” reporter Ben Jacobs when he asked Gianforte a question about a health care bill on May 24th. Jacobs was forced to the ground with such force in the scuffle that his glasses broke. The representative will enter a guilty plea on the misdemeanor charge on Monday and he will be arraigned and sentenced.
Gianforte apparently reached a civil settlement earlier in the week and then asked for Monday’s hearing, the “Gazette” reported. Ben Jacobs has agreed not to sue the congressman-elect, and Gianforte has promised to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Convictions for misdemeanor assault in Montana call for a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $500 fine. Gianforte is supposed to assume his office later this month. He will be replacing and serving out the term of Ryan Zinke, who was named by President Trump to serve as Interior Secretary. It will be interesting to see how the judge sentences the new congressman.
Are you surprised that Gianforte won the election? What are your thoughts about how he has handled himself since the encounter?
Credit: USA Today