Depictions of Gianforte's assault on reporter still causing wave - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Depictions of Gianforte's assault on reporter still causing waves

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BILLINGS - The lawyer for a reporter who said he was body slammed by Representative Greg Gianforte is demanding the Congressman and his spokesmen stop making “false and defamatory statements” about the assault that occurred at a Bozeman campaign event. 

The “cease and desist” letter was sent to to Gianforte’s attorney, Bill Mercer, by the attorney for Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who made headlines instead of just reporting them when he was assaulted by the Bozeman Republican on the eve of last May’s special election. 

Initially, Gianforte’s campaign spokesman tried to blame Jacobs for starting the assault, as he tried to ask the candidate about healthcare reform. But later, Gianforte formally apologized to Jacobs, saying “did not initiate physical contact with me”. Gianforte later pleaded guilty to formal charges. 

However, that was called into question a few days ago, when reports from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office were released, showing Gianforte telling investigators Jacobs made the first physical contact, and that the “liberal media… is just trying to make a story.” 

After Gianforte’s spokesman Travis Hall released a statement saying “no one was mislead”, Jacobs’ attorney wrote the warning letter. It tells Gianforte, Hall, and anyone else that was a part of the campaign to quit making “any further false and misleading defamatory statements” about Jacobs, saying such statements as “unacceptable” and could spark further legal action.

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