Congressman Greg Gianforte is asking the Gallatin County Court not to require him to have his mug shot and fingerprints taken.
Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault one day before polls opened in Montana’s special congressional election May 25. He attacked newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs.
In a motion filed today Gianforte’s attorneys argue that state law doesn’t give courts authority to require fingerprints or photographs from defendants who, like Gianforte, was charged and convicted of a misdemeanor but not arrested.
Gianforte pleaded guilty to the assault charge Monday. In an interview with the Associated Press today, conducted before his motion against the mug shot and fingerprinting was made public, Gianforte called for civility in politics.
He heads to Washington next week to be sworn in as Montana’s lone House Representative on Wednesday. In the interview Gianforte refused to answer questions about the attack and why his campaign initially released a statement painting the reporter as the instigator.
That contradicted witness accounts, Gianforte's own apology letter, and the criminal charge to which he eventually pleaded guilty. Instead, Gianforte repeated nine times over the course of the half-hour interview that he had taken responsibility and wanted to move on.