You may remember Greg Gianforte, the Republican who won Montana’s only Congressional seat in May even after assaulting reporter Ben Jacobs of the Guardian. He disputed the charge at first, then audio came out that clearly depicted him body-slamming the journalist after Jacobs asked a series of uncomfortable questions.
Gianforte pled guilty to the charge back in June, although it had no bearing on the outcome of his post-assault election. Presumably, the voters of Montana thought Jacobs had it coming, or perhaps they’re so committed to their political party that even an assault charge won’t deter them from voting for a GOP candidate.
At the time, the Tea Party lawmaker protested the judge’s order that he be booked and fingerprinted, as well as have his photo taken for a mug shot. His lawyers argued that the judge didn’t have the authority to order the proceedings since he was never actually handcuffed and arrested formally — a feat he pulled off by coincidentally being the candidate the local Sheriff had made political donations to during his campaign.
Now, despite his legal team’s argument that he was exempt because he was only charged with a misdemeanor, a judge has ordered that Gianforte turn himself in by September 15th for booking on the charge. If the congressman doesn’t comply, the judge said, he will be held in contempt of court.
Although Gianforte has paid his fines, apologized to Jacobs, and donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, he has yet to complete his community service. There is no word whether he has followed through on the anger management classes he was ordered to attend.
Practically speaking, a mugshot should worry the congressman when it comes time for reelection. Campaign ads could use it freely, as they are public record. But the question remains whether Gianforte, who raised nearly $120,000 in donations after admitting to the assault, has anything to worry about at all with the voters of Montana.
Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images