Greg Gianforte is being charged with misdemeanor assault. According to the official sources, a news reporter accused Greg Gianforte of “body slamming” him.
The same source stated that the incident happened in Greg Gianforte’s headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. The incident happened last Wednesday.
According to Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, he was asking Greg Gianforte a couple of questions at a campaign event. This was right before the “body-slamming incident” occurred.
According to a statement from the local authorities, after doing an investigation and multiple interviews, there's enough probable cause to issue Greg Gianforte a citation for misdemeanor assault. The local authorities also added that Gallatin County expects Greg Gianforte to appear before June 7.
The local authorities acquired an audio recording. In it, Jacobs was questioning Greg Gianforte about Trumpcare in relation to the Congregational Budget Office. Then, suddenly a loud crash can be heard from the recording.
According to Jacobs, he was slammed to the ground. Jacobs said this over the phone while being transported by an ambulance. Jacobs also added that the incident was the strangest thing that he had experienced in years reporting about politics.
A Fox News crew member was also present during the incident. The crew member stated a more disturbing scene: Greg Gianforte grabbed Jacobs' neck. With two hands, he slammed him to the floor.
Alicia Acuna, a reporter from Fox News, watched in disbelief as Greg Gianforte slammed Jacobs and started punching him while yelling something along the likes of "I am sick and tired of this." Acuna also added that Jacobs scrambled on his knees trying to get away and look for his glasses. Acuna mentioned that they never saw Jacobs display any aggression towards Greg Gianforte.
After the incident, Jacobs was brought to a nearby hospital. Jacobs also had an X-ray of his elbows. Brian Gootkin, Sheriff of Gallatin County, confirmed that his department is investigating the situation.
The Billings Gazette, the Missoulian, and the Independent Record, which are the three largest newspapers in Montana, withdrew their support for Greg Gianforte after the incident.
After the incident, Greg Gianforte left the scene in a silver jeep.
Shane Scanlon, the campaign spokesman of Greg Gianforte, said that it was Jacobs who was to blame for the incident.
According to Scanlon, Greg Gianforte was giving an interview within a private office. Then, Jacobs entered the office without permission. Jacobs proceeded to shove a recorder onto Greg Gianforte's face and started to ask badgering questions.
Jacobs was asked to lower the record and was politely asked to leave. However, Jacobs didn’t responded to such a request. Greg Gianforte then grabbed the recorder. Jacobs responded by grabbing Greg Gianforte's wrist. The grabbing maneuver made Greg Gianforte spin away from Jacobs, which pushed them both to the ground.
Greg Gianforte is a businessman and engineer. He is running against Rob Quist for the at-large Congressional District of Montana. Ryan Zinke was the former holder of said position.