MISSOULA, Mont. - Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin issued a citation to Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault late Wednesday night just a couple hours before the day of the special election.
The incident was reported to have occurred Wednesday afternoon at a gathering for Gianforte's volunteers.
According to the sheriff's investigation it was determined that there was probable cause to issue the citation, but the nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault.
Gianforte will need to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court some time between now and June 7.
A person convicted of misdemeanor assault shall be fined not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed six months or both.
Gootkin also announced that he contributed $250 to the Gianforte campaign in March, but he says it has nothing to do with the investigation.
Earlier Wednesday night Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist told the Associated Press that he had no comment on this incident.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin announced Wednesday evening that he is investigating an alleged altercation between Special Congressional Election candidate Greg Gianforte and a reporter from The Guardian.
Gootkin said he is still gathering the facts of the report, and he is interviewing four witnesses, whom he did not name.
He is also interviewing the reporter and Gianforte.
No charges have been filed, and there is no time frame for when or if charges will be filed.
Gootkin also said there is no evidence of a video to verify the incident as previously reported by other news outlets.
NBC Montana takes pride in reporting only verifiable facts from independent reliable sources, officials and documents, regardless of what is reported by other media outlets. The only verifiable facts are what is being stated by the Gallatin County sheriff at this time.