Greg Gianforte’s Bad Week Continues: Ben Jacobs Threatens Legal Action Over His Lies about His Assault

It’s been a bad week for Greg Gianforte. Seeing his flailing campaign battered by a series of endorsements from most of the state’s major newspapers and a staggering national response to President Trump’s decision to cheer on Gianforte’s violence against the press, Gianforte pumped in a last minute million dollar loan to his campaign to stop the bleeding.

And the hits just keep on coming. After Gianforte lied one more time about the assault in meeting with the Missoulian editorial board (mentioned in the Missoulian editorial, but not their news coverage), Ben Jacobs decided he’d had enough of Gianforte, who admitted to the crime, continuing to misrepresent what happened the night Gianforte attacked Jacobs.

Gianforte not only misrepresented what happened the night of the assault, but he falsely claimed he was unable to speak about the events, telling the Missoulian “I also am bound by my settlement agreement with Ben Jacobs to not talk about the incident.”

So his lawyers issued an ultimatum to Gianforte: stop misleading “the press and the electorate” or face legal action.

  • The letter from the law office representing Ben Jacobs lays out some important information about our dishonest and violent Congressman:
  • This is the second time Jacobs has asked, through his attorneys, that Gianforte honor the terms of the agreement reached before Gianforte accepted after the plea agreement. After Gianforte’s campaign falsely claimed no one had been misled by Gianforte or his campaign the night of the assault, Jacobs had his attorneys request the falsehoods come to an end. That letter was never responded to by Gianforte’s legal team.
  • Gianforte lied to the Missoulian editorial board, suggesting that the agreement reached with Jacobs and prosecutors precluded him from discussing the deal. From the letter, “The attached General Release and letter of admission and apology do not contain any confidentiality provision, and consequently Rep. Gianforte, contrary to his assertion to The Missoulian’s editorial board, is not under any restriction barring him responding fully and honestly to questions about his assault and his lies to law enforcement.”
  • Jacobs, to protect his rights for a “potential imminent legal proceeding,” is demanding that Gianforte preserve all documents about Jacobs, the assault, and or the settlement agreement.

We all knew that Greg Gianforte lacked the temperament to represent us in Congress and the moral decency to even feel shame about what he’s done. And now he’s making it clear that the lies he offered the people of Montana the night of his unprovoked attack weren’t just offered in the heat of the moment, but reflect the values of someone who will lie to Montanans over and over to achieve his political aims.

Mr. Gianforte can certainly drop untold millions—likely to be paid back by Super PACs—into his campaign to buy more airtime to tell more lies, but this election offers us a chance to let Gianforte know that Montanans will not be bought, no matter how desperately, dangerously, and dishonesty he behaves.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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