Prosecutors announced Thursday that they will not prosecute Donald Trump's campaign manager on battery charges against a female reporter, saying they did not have enough evidence to bring a case.
Michelle Fields, formerly a reporter with Breitbart News, alleged in a police report that Lewandowski grabbed her arm following a March press conference at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club. Fields tweeted a photo of bruises and had her account corroborated by a reporter from The Washington Post. Trump's campaign initially said Lewandowski never touched Fields, but changed its story after police charged Lewandowski with simple battery, saying Fields could have hurt the candidate.
Part of the reason Lewandowski won't be charged is because prosecutors said it was reasonable to believe he was reacting to what he perceived to be a threat against the candidate. At a Thursday press conference, prosecutors showed reporters a video of the interaction that they said showed Fields touching Trump and the candidate recoiling.
"We are not charging him because he was reacting to what he perceived as a potential threat to someone he is in charge of,"said Adrienne Ellis, a deputy to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
Ellis said that Fields told her she did not touch Trump. The deputy added that when the incident occurred, Fields was in a scrum in a protective area she was instructed not to be in.
NBC's Katy Tur, who covers the Trump campaign, said it was common for reporters to go right up to Trump following an event on his property.
"There's an area where they put the press, but when Donald Trump leaves the stage or walks around and it's in one of his properties, we are free to walk right up to the candidate," Tur said on MSNBC. "The Secret Service usually is surrounding him, but there have been a number of situations where you're told one thing but you're a reporter so you go up and you're trying to get a comment."
"There have been a number of circumstances where members of the press, including myself, have walked right up to Mr. Trump in that scrum and stood next to him for quite a while and asked questions as they've been walking along," she continued.
Aronberg and Ellis also revealed Trump had personally called them to give his version of events and urged them to "do the right thing." They said that neither Trump's call, nor politics, had factored into their decision.
Trump's campaign released a statement shortly after prosecutors announced the decision, saying Lewandowski was "gratified" by the decision to drop the misdemeanor charge.
During an interview with reporters and activists at Trump Tower on Thursday, Trump asked Lewandowski to explain how loyal Trump had been during the incident and its fallout, according to The Forward.
“More than I could possibly fathom,” Lewandowski said.
Trump then went on to praise his campaign manager.
“I’m proud of you, Corey,” he said. Perhaps alluding to the struggles his campaign has faced recently, he added Lewandowski "wasn’t quite as effective for the past couple of months.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist
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