Monday, June 12, 2017

Gianforte apologizes for body-slamming reporter, donates $50,000 to Committee to Protect Journalists (meteor Blades) · Thursday, June 08, 2017, 10:05 pm

The Guardian’s Julie Carrie Wong reports:

Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican who assaulted a Guardian journalist on the eve of his election to the US House of Representatives, has issued a full and unequivocal apology to the reporter and agreed to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The congressman-elect apologized to the reporter, Ben Jacobs, in a letter received late on Wednesday as part of an agreement that settles any potential civil claims.

“My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful,” Gianforte wrote. “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 has also made an in-person apology directly to Jacobs.

The tech millionaire still faces misdemeanor assault charges that could cost him a pitiful $500 in fines and six months in the slam. But you can bet that he will do zero time in lock-up. Maybe the judge will sentence him to community service and let him use his time in Congress to fulfill that requirement. It’s hard to imagine Jacobs getting off easily if he had been the one charged with assault. Hard to imagine he wouldn’t have gotten dinged for a felony.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident in which he body-slammed Jacobs, breaking his glasses, and punching him repeatedly, Gianforte and his campaign lied about what happened, claiming Jacobs had provoked the attack by aggressively questioning the then-candidate. Gianforte addressed that false claim in his apology, careful to avoid characterizing the lie as a lie:

“Notwithstanding anyone’s statements to the contrary, you did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you,” he wrote. “I am sorry for what I did and the unwanted notoriety this has created for you. I take full responsibility.”


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