Just days before a required court appearance, Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) filed to run in 2018 — an expected move but one that left Montana Democrats bemused.
On May 24, after allegedly manhandling Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs as he asked about the GOP’s American Health Care Act, Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault. The Republican was required to show up at Gallatin County’s courthouse by June 8 or push for a delay.
The latter option looked likelier as Monday came and went without Gianforte appearing in court. Dozens of activists, organized in part by the American Civil Liberties Union, waited outside for Gianforte and planned to appear again whenever he actually went before the court.
Jacobs, who has not commented on the situation since the May 25 election, is expected to head back to Montana this week. A mock swearing-in ceremony — typical for new members of Congress, who bring their families for a short photo op with the speaker of the House — will be held after the House receives Gianforte’s election certificate.