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Congressman-elect set to plead guilty for assaulting reporter

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He won the special election to respresent Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives, even after he allegedly assaulted a reporter at a campaign event! Now, tech millionaire Greg Gianforte is expected to make all his wrongs right, and plead guilty Monday.

The Billings Gazette reported Gianforte and prosecutors were looking at a plea agreement for a misdemeanor charge of assault which could result in a no contest plea. But Friday, Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert told the Associated Press that Gianforte was going to plead guilty at his hearing scheduled for Monday.

Wednesday, he released an apology letter to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs writing:

“My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful. As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard.”

Gianforte added that he was going to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

On May 24th, Gianforte staff and volunteers gathered for Gianforte’s final campaign event for a very closely watched election by the local and national media. While Gianforte was in a room with members of a FOX News crew, Jacobs approached and asked a question about health care. That’s when Gianforte allegedly “body slammed” Jacobs.

In response to Gianforte’s apology letter, Jacob issued a written statement:

“I have accepted Mr. Gianforte’s apology and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions and statements. I hope the constructive resolution of this incident reinforces for all the importance of respecting the freedom of the press and the First Amendment and encourages more civil and thoughtful discourse in our country.”

Gianforte is expected to be sentenced on Monday, where the charge carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. Here’s the May 24th recording of the altercation between Gianforte and Jacobs.

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