A lawyer for Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs has sent a cease and desist letter to a lawyer for Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) following a spokesman's denial that the congressman misled police about his assault of Jacobs.
“On behalf of this firm's client Benjamin Jacobs, I write to demand that Rep. Gianforte, his spokesman Mr. Hall, and any and all other persons working for or affiliated with Rep. Gianforte or his campaign immediately cease and desist from making any further false and defamatory statements about Mr. Jacobs,” reads the letter obtained by Independent Journal Review.
The letter states that comments made by Gianforte's spokesman directly contradict Rep. Gianforte's own statements in a letter to Jacobs:
Significantly, Mr. Hall's statement directly contradicts Rep. Gianforte's June 7, 2017 letter to Mr. Jacobs, in which Rep. Gianforte truthfully admitted that “[n]otwithstanding anyone's statements to the contrary, [Mr. Jacobs] did not initiate any physical contact with me . . . .” Thus, as the June 7 letter concedes, Rep. Gianforte and his campaign did mislead law enforcement and the public — repeatedly — about Mr. Jacobs' actions in the moments before Rep. Gianforte assaulted him.
“It is unacceptable and actionable for Rep. Gianforte, Mr. Hall, or any other persons working for or affiliated with Rep. Gianforte or his campaign to make false and defamatory statements about the May 24 assault,” lawyer Geoffrey Genth writes on behalf of Jacobs.
“Please advise Rep. Gianforte, Mr. Hall, and the Gianforte campaign of the need to cease and desist from making such statements,” he continues. “Mr. Jacobs reserves all rights in connection with any and all false and defamatory statements, made after the date of the pertinent General Release, about him or the May 24 assault.”
Gianforte body-slammed Jacobs just days before the Montana special election that would win him a seat in the House of Representatives. Gianforte pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault in June.
You can read the letter in its entirety below:
In August, Jacobs claimed that Gianforte was refusing to participate in a promised on-the-record interview following the incident.
“In refusing to do the promised on-the-record interview with me, Congressman Gianforte continues his pattern of avoiding responsibility for his actions and refusing to live up to the statements made in what I had thought was a sincere apology,” Jacobs wrote in a statement.