Gianforte granted extension for appearance on assault charge

AP News
Posted: Jun 07, 2017 1:14 PM

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A judge has given Republican U.S. Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte until June 20 to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court to face a misdemeanor assault charge against a reporter.

The request filed Tuesday by former U.S. Attorney William Mercer and Bozeman attorney Todd Whipple says they are in settlement talks with prosecutors. Justice of the Peace Rick West granted the extension Wednesday.

Gianforte had faced a Wednesday deadline to appear in a Justice Court over allegations that he attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs the night before last month's special congressional election in Montana.

Jacobs said he was "body slammed" by Gianforte on May 24 while he was trying to ask him a question about a health care bill.

Gianforte won Montana's only congressional seat, despite the last-minute fracas at his Bozeman headquarters.