Prosecutor: ‘No charges’ against Trump campaign manager

By WND Staff

Then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields attempts to ask questions of GOP front-runner Donald Trump with Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, far right, staring in her direction (Photo: Twitter)
Then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields attempts to ask questions of GOP front-runner Donald Trump with Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, far right, staring in her direction (Photo: Twitter)

A Florida state attorney said Thursday he would not prosecute Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski for simple battery in connection with a March incident involving a reporter, saying the legal bar for a police charge is lower than the one for an actual prosecution, and a conviction in the case was unlikely.

“This office will not be filing charges against Corey Lewandowksi,” Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told reporters.

Police in Jupiter, Fla., charged Lewandowski last month with simple battery in the wake of the March 8 confrontation with former Breitbart News correspondent Michelle Fields.

WND reported the Florida prosecutor supports Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, causing many to claim any charges in the case would be politically motivated.

An article published by the Palm Beach Post on Nov. 17, 2015 lists Aronberg as a member 150-member Florida Leadership Council, which was established by the Democratic Party to promote Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

The article states that Aronberg and Tax Collector Anne Gannon “are also part of Clinton’s Florida team.”

Aronberg, in a Politico interview last week, noted that the Jupiter police had a low “probable cause” standard to cite Lewandowski for misdemeanor battery, but his office had to consider whether a crime had occurred and whether a jury would possibly render a guilty verdict.

“Although there was probable cause to make an arrest,” Thursday’s legal filing said, “the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.”

“They acted well within their authority to investigate and make an independent charging decision. We agree that probable cause exists for the Jupiter Police Department to charge Mr. Lewandwoski in this case,” Aronberg said during the news conference. “Our standard is higher than probable cause. … Although the facts support the allegation that Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields’ arm against her will, Mr. Lewandowski has a reasonable hypothesis of innocence.”

Watch video of David Aronberg’s remarks:

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Lewandowski has denied wrongdoing.

While the facts support Fields’ statements and the police charge, Aronberg said that “it is unethical for us to file cases when we believe there is not a good-faith basis to proceed.”

Aronberg said his office spoke with Fields, and “it was clear to us she was disappointed by this decision.”

Related story: Michelle Fields slams Fox News star as Trump ‘shill’

trumpstatement

GOP front-runner Donald Trump issued this statement:

Corey Lewandowski is gratified by the decision to drop the misdemeanor charge and appreciates the thoughtful consideration and professionalism by the Palm Beach State Attorney and his staff who carefully reviewed this matter, as well as Mr. Trump’s loyalty and the support of his colleagues and family during this time. The matter is now concluded.

Fields filed the police report last month after Lewandowski grabbed her arm to move her out of Trump’s way as he left a press conference at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter. She said he bruised on her arm. In earlier tellings of her story, she claimed she was nearly pulled to the ground.

Security footage indicated Fields was touching Trump as he walked away. One unnamed Secret Service agent said in a statement to the London Daily Mail that Fields “crossed in between agents and our protectee after being told not to,” and touched Trump first, WND reported.

Watch security footage of the incident:

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Hillary for prosecution, not president! Join the sizzling campaign to put Mrs. Clinton where she really belongs

Fields reacted Wednesday afternoon on Twitter to news that Lewandowski would not be prosecuted.

“Prosecutor’s office told me they would inform me of decision tomorrow. If reports true, guess they decided to leak to reporters first. Ugly.”

Fields also confirmed reports that a deal had been offered by the state attorney for Lewandowski to publicly apologize to Fields.

“For those asking, office of prosecutor asked 2 weeks ago if I’d be ok with an apology from Corey. I said ya but haven’t heard back about it.”

Even though the brush-up met the technical definition of a crime under Florida law, which considers battery as unwanted touching, many observers did not believe the offense seen on video was prosecutable.

“If you asked people to describe a battery, this certainly wouldn’t cut it. No injury, no damage, no nothing,” Miami criminal defense lawyer David Oscar Markus told Politico.

“Not every minor interaction needs to go to court. Time for everyone to chill out,” he said. “Jeb Bush has a better claim for battery against Trump after those debates than this reporter does against Lewandowski.”

At the time of the incident, the Trump campaign issued a statement asserting Lewandowski’s innocence.

“Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge,” read the statement. “He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated.”

Fields may still seek defamation charges against Lewandowski based on his efforts to dismiss her claims and cast doubt on her integrity, the sources told Politico. Fields confirmed the possible civil action to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Wednesday night.

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