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Gianforte's Court Date Likely To Be Delayed

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte.
Bree Zender

Greg Gianforte will probably be given more time to appear in court on his misdemeanor assault charge. That’s according Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert.

"I don’t think it’s going to happen Monday or Wednesday of next week," Lambert says.

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte pushed his campaign fundraising total to over $1 million after putting $200,000 of his own money into the campaign.
Credit Bree Zender
U.S. congressman-elect Greg Gianforte.

Gianforte, Montana’s congressman-elect, was charged with misdemeanor assault May 24, one day before polls opened in the special election for Montana’s U.S. House seat.

He has since apologized for a physical altercation with Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian newspaper. Published eyewitness statements back up Jacobs’ account that Gianforte attacked him.

At the time Gianforte was charged, he was given until next Wednesday, June 7 to appear in court. He has so far passed up two opportunities to do so. The court only hears such charges on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

County Attorney Lambert says he’s working with Gianforte’s attorney and Jacobs to find a court date that works for all parties, and that a motion could be filed soon to extend the timeline beyond the original June 7 date. Lambert says these kinds of time extensions happen often.

"We’ll need to put our heads together, everybody who’s involved in the case, and try and come up with times to suggest to the judge," says Lambert.

Meanwhile, a national coalition of press groups is asking a congressional ethics panel to consider disciplinary measures against Gianforte.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.