A Montana judge ordered on Wednesday that the mugshot of Greg Gianforte, the recently-inaugurated Congressman who assaulted a reporter the night before his election, be released to the public.
The mugshot was taken in August when Gianforte was booked on a misdemeanour assault charge stemming from his attack on Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs in May.
Gianforte, then a Republican candidate in the special election for Montana’s at-large House seat, body-slammed Jacobs at his campaign headquarters in Bozeman.
The mugshot can be seen below:
Gianforte initially denied the attack, but was discredited after The Guardian released Jacobs’ audio recording of the incident. A Fox News reporter who witnessed the attack wrote that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground.”
News of the altercation sent shockwaves throughout the state, and three newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte that night. Nevertheless, Gianforte handily defeated Democrat Rob Quist the following day to take the congressional seat.
Gianforte pleaded guilty to the assault charge in June and was sentenced to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management, and a $US300 fine. As part of his settlement with Jacobs, Gianforte also donated $US50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The release of the mugshot comes after a lengthy legal battle in which a Gallatin County attorney argued the photo could not be released without a court order. Several Montana newspapers then filed requests for the mugshot to be made public, a move that Gianforte’s attorney did not contest, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
“Greg Gianforte, as a publicly elected official of Congress, believes in transparency,” defence attorney Todd Whipple said in a statement.
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