BREAKING: Montana GOP Candidate Charged With Misdemeanor Assault of Reporter; Not Arrested

Republican Greg Gianforte, right, welcomes Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, onto the stage at a rally in East Helena, Montana, on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Trump was on a four-city tour in Montana to rally support for Grianforte’s bid to represent the state in the U.S. House. The Bozeman entrepreneur is vying in a May 25 special election against Democrat Rob Quist and Libertarian Mark Wicks. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)

Montana GOP candidate for U.S. Congress, Greg Gianforte, has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

The Republican candidate “body slammed,” and according to Fox News “grabbed by the neck with both hands” a reporter from British news outlet, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs.

The altercation took place at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, the night before the state’s special election.

Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for the Guardian, said he had been asking Gianforte about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate “body slammed” him and began shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

Gianforte has been officially charged but will not be arrested. There is some speculation that it has to do with the sheriff, Brian Gootkin, being a donor to Gianforte’s campaign.

https://twitter.com/jbarro/status/867572757097304064

According to Gootkin’s statement, Gianforte has been issued a citation and will appear in court by June 7th.

“Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault (MCA 45-5-201).  The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault.  Greg Gianforte received a citation on Wednesday night and is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7, 2017.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated as events unfold.