Montana’ Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to community service and anger management. From CNN:
Greg Gianforte, the Montana congressman-elect who was accused of “body slamming” a reporter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Monday morning.
Judge Rick West sentenced Gianforte to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with a $85 court fee…
Jacobs was present and made a statement in the courtroom. Gianforte later asked if he could address Jacobs directly and apologized again.
“I just want to say I’m sorry and if and when you’re ready, I look forward to sitting down with you in DC,” he said.
The day before the special election last month, Gianforte assaulted Jacobs after Jacobs asked him a question about the Republican health care plan. Jacobs tweeted about the assault and audio of the encounter made clear a scuffle had taken place. A Fox News crew that had been setting up the room for an interview with Gianforte published an account backing up Jacobs’ story. Gianforte won the election and during his victory speech apologized to Jacobs and to the Fox News crew for his behavior. “I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that, I am sorry,” Gianforte said.
The Associated Press reports that Jacobs and Gianforte had worked out a deal which would have allowed the congressman to plead no-contest:
In an attempt to put the matter behind him, Gianforte first settled all civil claims with Jacobs before requesting that Monday’s court date cover both his arraignment and sentencing.
In the civil settlement, Gianforte agreed to give $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists and wrote Jacobs a letter of apology in which he acknowledged assaulting the reporter for asking a “legitimate question about health care policy.”
In exchange, Jacobs agreed not to sue Gianforte and said he would not object if Gianforte entered a no-contest plea to the criminal charge, which would have allowed Gianforte to concede to the charge without admitting guilt.
However, county attorney Marty Lambert did object to the no-contest plea, which is apparently why Gianforte pleaded guilty today. In 180 days, Gianforte can petition the court to have the conviction removed from his record.