Gianforte To Appear In Court On Monday Morning
Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte will appear in court at 10 AM Monday to face a misdemeanor assault charge against a reporter.
Gianforte will likely enter a “no contest” plea, which allows him to concede to the charge without pleading guilty.
Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert signed off on requests by Gianforte to re-scheduled his court appearance, which was initially set for yesterday at the latest.
"I can’t talk further about the state of affairs, in terms of the outcome of the criminal case, at least not today," Lambert says.
The maximum penalty for misdemeanor assault is six months in prison and a $500 fine. Legal experts say jail time is unlikely.
On Wednesday, Gianforte sent a formal public apology to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. It included a pledge to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In return, Jacobs said he won’t sue Gianforte and accepts his apology. He will also not oppose a “no contest” plea.
Gianforte on Wednesday admitted to assaulting Jacobs the day before Montana's special congressional election on May 25 when the reporter asked him a question.