Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mont. congressman-elect sentenced to community service, anger class, fined for assaulting reporter

Jacobs testified before Judge Rick West.
(Billings Gazette photo by Thom Bridge)
U.S. Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte of pleaded guilty Monday confessed to assaulting Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, who pressed him on May 24, election eve, about the repeal of Obamacare. Gianforte apologized to Jacobs in a June 7 letter, and again in court.

In lieu of four days of jail time, which he said would not serve the community or taxpayers, Gallatin County Judge Rick West sentenced Gianforte to 40 hours of community service, a $300 fine and $85 in court costs. He must also take a 20-hour anger-management course, the Billings Gazette reports.

"Gianforte cut off questions from reporters after court before he could be asked about why his campaign sent out a false statement" on the evening of the assault, Holly Michels reports for the Gazette. "Last week, Jacobs and Gianforte announced they reached a civil settlement that included Gianforte writing an apology letter and donating $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists."

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