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Montana Congrssional candidate Greg Gianforte arrested for assaulting reporter on eve of special election

May 25, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Montana Congrssional candidate Greg Gianforte arrested for assaulting reporter on eve of special election

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Montana Police have charged Republican Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte (R) with misdemeanor assault after an incident with a newspaper reporter, just hours on the eve of a special election.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that there was probable cause to issue a citation against Gianforte, but the nature of the injuries “did not meet the statutory elements of a felony assault.”

However, the incident sent shockwaves across the country and resulted in two key Montana newspapers taking back their earlier endorsement, Fox News reported.

Prior to the incident, Greg Gianforte had been neck-and-neck with his Democratic opponent.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening when a Fox News team was scheduled to interview Gianforte at his campaign headquarters. The team said Ben Jacobs, the reporter from The Guardian, pressed Gianforte about the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.

Gianforte told Jacobs to talk to his press officer. At some point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground, according to witnesses.

The crew watched Gianforte punch the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, “I’m sick and tired of this!”

A statement from Gianforte’s campaign said, “after asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it would launch as many Facebook ads as possible about the incident, targeting Montana Democratic voters who might not otherwise vote Thursday. The Committee also said Gianforte must quit the race and the Republican Party should publicly denounce him.

Federal records show that the sheriff donated $250 to Gianforte’s congressional campaign in March. In his statement, Gootkin confirmed the donation but said, “This contribution has nothing to do with our investigation, which is now complete.”

Gianforte is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between Wednesday night and June 7. He would face a maximum $500 fine or six months in jail if convicted.

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