With one day before Montana decides who will replace former US Congressman Ryan Zinke in the United States House of Representatives, an audio recording of candidate Greg Gianforte was released of Greg apparently in a scuffle with a Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs where both ended up on the ground. In a statement after the incident, Shane Scanlon, spokesman with the Gianforte campaign, issued the following statement regarding the incident:
“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of the assault at 5:08pm Wednesday evening, one day before the election polls were to open. After reports from those present were taken, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and detectives determined probable cause existed to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault.
The special election has had absentee ballot voting for about 4 weeks now. Physical polling places and locations are all open for voters throughout Montana today Thursday, May 25th.
As this is a developing story today, stay tuned as more info comes available and full details will be in the Yellowstone County news print edition next week.