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Judge comforts GOP’s Gianforte: ‘Having to spend any time in jail isn’t something you should do’

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BOZEMAN — A surreal scene unfolded in Gallatin County Criminal Court Monday morning as Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT) pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter the night before he was elected.

Judge Rick West initially sentenced Gianforte to four days in jail, but then reversed himself and let Gianforte both avoid jail and be allowed to leave without being booked.

“Being a congressman-elect, having to spend any time in jail isn’t something you should do,” Judge West told a courtroom packed with reporters.

In the end, Gianforte received some community service, $385 in fines and anger management classes for his assault of The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Following the hearing, Gianforte refused to respond to questions about the false statement his campaign issued following the assault.

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Despite claims from both prosecutor and judge that Gianforte had taken responsibility, his campaign’s lies remain uncorrected.

“Essentially, Gianforte’s campaign took the stance that the allegations of the ‘liberal journalist’ couldn’t be believed. It’s all ‘fake news,’ don’t you know,” the local newspaper, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle explained. “This might have remained the storyline except for an audiotape of the incident and the eyewitness accounts from a Fox News team that clearly contradict the version offered by Gianforte’s campaign, accounts that investigators and prosecutors believed when they charged Gianforte with misdemeanor assault later that same night.”

With Judge West’s decision to revoke Gianforte’s prison sentence, the Bozeman Republican effectively received a “get out of jail free” card. Yet the political ramifications of Gianforte’s violent assault are still unfolding.

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“A man who assaults another person then lies about it, and acts with only his best interests in mind does not share our Montana values,” Nancy Keenan of the Montana Democratic Party said in a statement. “Greg Gianforte should not be sworn in as a member of Congress, and if he is, he must resign.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Gianforte “should decline to take the oath of office” after his “heinous violent assault.”

The night of the attack, Raw Story was first to report that Ben Jacobs was in a sling after being discharged from the hospital.

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GUILTY: Jury rules Michael Flynn’s former business partner is guilty of lobbying for Turkey

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Michael Flynn's former business partner Bijan Kian was found guilty by a jury for illegally lobbying for a foreign country.

The information was uncovered as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and as the Justice Department's crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying, CNN explained.

Flynn has had a difficult go in his court case, but information Flynn gave was helpful, according to the DOJ.

Kian is an Iranian-American businessman who was charged with conspiring to hide his lobbying work for Turkey without registering as a foreign agent for the Turkish government.

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House Democrats forced to apologize for Trump after he screws up another meeting with foreign leader

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President Donald Trump humiliated himself again when meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday. In a meeting, Trump bragged about a conversation he had with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about this subject. And he actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?'” Trump said, noting that Modi specifically talked about Kashmir as what he'd be mediating.

The problem is that India came out saying Trump was lying, as BeltwayBreakfast reported.

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Trump is a ‘chaos agent’ whose luck is due to ‘run out’: political scientist

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Brian Klaas, an assistant professor of global politics at University College London, thinks that President Donald Trump has been incredibly lucky so far in his presidency -- but he warns that luck is due to run out in the near future.

Writing in the Washington Post, Klaas points out that Trump has not experienced anything like the major crises that have plagued other presidents during their tenures in office and has instead only faced crises of his own making.

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