by Max Brantley
Jacobs, who attended the hearing, read from a statement that said Gianforte slammed him to the ground and punched him. When asked by the judge what happened during the assault, Gianforte said he grabbed for Jacobs’ cellphone and ended up grabbing his wrists and the two men ended up on the ground.From The Guardian:
In a courtroom packed with journalists and spectators in Bozeman, Montana, Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, saying, “Although it was not my intention to hurt him, I understand Ben was injured.”Jacobs said he'd like to interview Gianforte and the congressman-elect said he looked forward to sitting down with him.
After judge Rick West repeatedly asked Gianforte whether he believed he caused injury to Jacobs, the congressman-elect said he did. West initially considered sentencing Gianforte to four days behind bars, but ultimately said he did not want the congressman-elect to take up space in jail and instead ordered him to complete 40 hours of community service.