Legal drama

State attorney’s office declines to prosecute Trump campaign manager on battery charge

Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, looks on as Trump speaks to reporters. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

The campaign manager of Donald Trump’s frontrunner bid for the GOP nomination won’t be prosecuted for a battery charge stemming from an incident with a female reporter last month, the Palm Beach County state attorney said on Thursday. At a press conference, prosecutor David Aronberg said it would be “unethical” to proceed with a case against Corey Lewandowski, who was charged last month with simple battery after security camera footage showed him roughly grabbing Michelle Fields, then a reporter for Breitbart News. Fields had accused Lewandowski of nearly throwing her to the ground and leaving bruises on her arm. She left her job in the wake of the incident, saying that the news organization, which has been openly pro-Trump, didn’t adequately defend her. Lewandowski had taunted her in a post on Twitter, saying he’d never touched or even met Fields — a claim that was disproved by the video footage. However, according to the prosecutor, the footage didn’t provide proof that a crime had occurred.

Michelle Fields. (Ryan Stone/The New York Times)

Michelle Fields. (Ryan Stone/The New York Times)

“While the evidence in this case is legally sufficient for the police to charge Mr. Lewandowski, it is not strong enough to meet the burden of a reasonable likelihood of a conviction,” Aronberg told reporters. The Trump campaign issued a statement expressing satisfaction with the prosecutor’s decision and declaring the matter “concluded.” But Fields certainly doesn’t view the matter as concluded — she is reportedly considering a defamation suit against Lewandowski and Trump. During an interview on CNN Friday, Lewandowski said he tried to reach out to to Fields after the initial allegation to “to get to the bottom of it.” But, he said, he never heard back from her. Anonymous sources, friends of Lewandowski, who spoke to The New York Times said he had wanted to apologize to Fields for the incident, but refrained from doing so at Trump’s request.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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