Gianforte Set Up or Just a Trump Loving Fool?

Lauren Perry
May 28, 2017

Greg Gianforte celebrates his win over Rob Quist for the open congressional seat at the Hilton Garden Inn, Thursday night, May 25, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont.

A Democrat has not held the Montana U.S. House seat since Pat Williams departed in 1997 after he decided not to seek re-election.

Gianforte had been leading Quist and Wicks in opinion polls before Wednesday night, when Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, accused Gianforte of having "body slammed" him at a campaign event.

Gianforte is facing an assault charge, but that nearly certainly won't stop him from taking his seat in the House.

According to Dr. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Irvine's School of Law, nothing in the US Constitution would prevent House Representative-elect Gianforte from serving, even if he were convicted of the misdemeanor assault. People feel like, if the president of the United States can say anything to anybody at any time, then I guess I can too.

Gianforte could face additional, more serious charges once prosecutors review the evidence, Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert told Reuters. In an effort to give Gianforte a boost in Montana's close congressional race, Trump recorded a robocall in which he calls Gianforte "my good friend". Speaker Ryan is right - a physical response is never warranted and Montana's next USA representative could learn a lot about acting like a statesman from Kevin Cramer.

In most states, a person who physically assaults another is sent to jail; however, in the great state of Montana, they are sent to the U.S. Congress. "Greg Gianforte should not be sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives while his assault case is still pending in court". This, because Jacobs tried to ask for Gianforte's opinion of the GOP health care bill in the wake of an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that it would leave 23 million Americans without health care. Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of NY, for example, returned to Congress facing an indictment for federal tax fraud and kept his seat even after he pleaded guilty, only leaving after voluntarily resigning. Sen.

Gianforte, a tech millionaire, had been expected to win the seat by a comfortable margin against a weak Democratic candidate.

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Gianforte was considered the favorite heading into Thursday's election to fill the seat once held by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but that was before the altercation with Jacobs on Wednesday.

And instead of Trump, who was embraced by Gianforte and rarely mentioned by Quist in a state where the president remains popular, Republicans said the key national figure in the race was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But he added: "Now he needs to resolve his legal issue so that he can start off on the right foot serving his constituents".

Gianforte's campaign released a statement shortly afterward blaming the entire incident on Jacobs himself.

He emerged only at his victory celebration Thursday night, where he said he accepted responsibility for the incident. The difference in the way Cramer and Montana's newly elected congressman reacted speaks volumes about the character of each.

"He's with his family right now, and will be spending time with them over the weekend" Shane Scanlon said.

Since his entry into state politics past year, Gianforte has combined calls for attacks on the working class and defense of the wealth of the corporate-financial aristocracy with appeals to right-wing layers and thuggish attacks on the press.

In Kansas last month - in a Wichita-area district that is even more conservative than Montana - national Republican groups stepped in to ensure that another lackluster candidate, Ron Estes, pulled out a win, while the Democratic nominee, James Thompson, waited in vain for his party's cavalry to ride in. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face.

Other reports by VgToday

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