Did officials make the right choice or did they leave Michelle Fields victimized? Give us your thoughts below.
A Florida prosecutor has decided not to prosecute Donald Trump’s campaign manager for battery after a March run-in with former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, sources with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO.
The decision not to press charges against Corey Lewandowski is scheduled to be announced on Thursday afternoon by Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg.
Fields may still pursue a defamation case against Lewandowski, a source said.
Fields filed a police report last month after Lewandowski grabbed her by the arm and moved her out of Trump’s way following a press conference at Trump National Gold Club in Jupiter. She said he left bruises on her arm. Police later charged Lewandowski with simple battery, releasing video from surveillance cameras that shows Lewandowski reaching for and grabbing Fields.
Aronberg would not comment, but in a POLITICO interview last week, he pointed out that Jupiter police had a low “probable cause” standard to cite Lewandowski for battery. But the responsibility for moving forward with a full-blown prosecution rested with Aronberg’s office, which had to consider whether a crime occurred and whether they believed a jury of Floridians would prosecute.
“We have a higher standard to go forward with a prosecution,” he said.
Fields would not comment on the record. Lewandowski could not immediately be reached for comment.
Many lawyers said they just didn’t think jurors would think of this case as a battery, even though it met the technical threshold for the crime under Florida law, which essentially defines battery as unwanted touching.
“If you asked people to describe a battery, this certainly wouldn’t cut it. No injury, no damage, no nothing,” said veteran Miami criminal defense lawyer David Oscar Markus, who earlier this month successfully defended former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Delmon Young in a battery case involving a Miami valet.
“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.”