Montana's Gianforte avoids jail time for reporter assault

Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte, center, on June 12, 2017, during his court hearing in Bozeman, Mont. Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, defeated Democrat Quist to continue the GOP's two-decade stronghold on the congressional seat.

Judge Rick West sentenced Republican Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management along with a 180-day deferred sentence, Politico reported.

The reporter for the British publication had been covering Montana's special congressional race among Republican Gianforte, Democrat Rob Quist and Libertarian Mark Wicks. He also must pay $385 in fines and fees.

In the wake of the attack and election, Gianforte revealed that he had lied about what happened that day, and issued a letter of apology to Jacobs. Jacobs tweeted the accusation that night.

"He has acknowledged the importance of the free press and made a thoughtful contribution to protect journalists around the world".

Gianforte was questioned by sheriff's deputies at his headquarters shortly after the attack, then didn't appear in public again until his victory speech the next night, in which he apologized to voters and to Jacobs.

"I look forward to putting this behind me".

Montana' Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to community service and anger management.

"It's one thing to acknowledge in public, 'Yeah, I did something, ' but that's different from legal guilt", she said. "I don't think that will serve the community or the taxpayers".

"I knowingly made physical contact with Mr".

Jacobs also captured the incident in an audio recording, in which Gianforte can be heard yelling at the reporter.

"You just body slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacobs replies.

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", a voice identified as Gianforte's says on the recording. "Get the hell out of here ... get the hell out of here!"

Yet Jacobs, who flew to Bozeman from Washington, D.C., for the hearing, provided more details and a different version from the witness stand on Monday.

Jacobs, in the courtroom and reading from a prepared statement, said he "was doing my job" on May 24 when he asked the candidate a question about the health care bill working its way through Congress. Zinke resigned to become Interior Department secretary. Jacobs accepted Gianforte's apology but said he was concerned about the tone of political discourse in the U.S.

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Libertarian Mark Wicks received 21,683 votes.

Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, called for Gianforte to resign following his sentencing.

"There will always be fundamental political agreements in our society", Jacobs said. "I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about healthcare policy". "Perhaps some good can come of these events", he stated in the letter. "A man who assaults another person then lies about it, and acts with only his best interests in mind does not share our Montana values".

The altercation has been portrayed as a sign of the toxicity that has infused American politics.

He must complete his community service by November 28 and can have the charge dismissed if he behaves for six months, the paper reported.

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