Saturday, 22 July, 2017

Gianforte to enter plea in assault case

The Latest: Gianforte requests Monday court appearance Greg Gianforte Issues A Formal Apology Letter To The Reporter He Body Slammed
Craig Ferguson | 22 June, 2017, 09:03

In the settlement announced Wednesday, Gianforte acknowledged he assaulted Jacobs, apologized for his actions, and said he would donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Republican technology entrepreneur will enter his plea in court on Monday, when he is scheduled to be arraigned and sentenced on the misdemeanor charge, Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert told The Associated Press.

Jacobs posted audio from his recorder shortly after, where it appeared to show Gianforte repeatedly telling Jacobs to "get the hell out of here" before a scuffle ensued.

Later Wednesday, Jacobs releasesd a statement saying he has "accepted Mr. Gianforte's apology and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions and statements". That statement, sent by Gianforte spokesman Shane Scanlon, said Jacobs grabbed Gianforte's wrist and pushed both men to the ground, and the statement made a point of calling Jacobs a "liberal journalist" with "aggressive behavior". Misdemeanor assault carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or six month jail sentence.

That set off a short and intense special election campaign that drew millions of dollars in donations from across the U.S.

"We are heartened to see that the congressman has issued an apology and recognizes that violence against journalists is unacceptable", said Courtney Radsch, the group's advocacy director.

Gianforte's campaign initially suggested Jacobs instigated the incident by barging into the candidate's office and shoving a recording device in his face as he was preparing for a TV interview.

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The now-notorious incident saw Gianforte fly off the handle when asked about the new CBO score of the Republican healthcare plan.

Jacobs says he hopes the episode will reinforce respect for freedom of the press and encourage more civil discourse.

An attorney for Gianforte declined comment. Gianforte quickly took exception to Jacobs' question, and by all witness accounts, followed up his body slam of Jacobs with a few blows, breaking Jacobs' glasses in the process.

BOZEMAN- U.S. Congressman Elect Greg Gianforte's legal team is requesting an appearance in Gallatin County Court, 10 a.m. on Monday.

He says, "I understand the critical role that journalists and the media play in our society". But he said on Thursday that after reviewing the evidence and discussing the matter with Jacobs, the prosecutor decided the misdemeanor charge was appropriate. Lewicki, who has analyzed prior public apologies, reviewed what makes Gianforte's note stand out.

"It allows the defense to come in and say, 'OK, I'm willing to accept responsibility, but I don't want a legal admission on the record that I am legally guilty, '" Gross said.

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