Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, won’t be prosecuted for the battery charge against him.
Palm Beach County Attorney David Aronberg said in a press conference today, “This office will not be filing charges against Corey Lewandowski for battery,” noting that his office never pressed charges.
“It was charged by the Jupiter Police Department which found probable cause that Mr. Lewandowski committed a simple battery against Ms. Michelle Fields,” he said. “While the evidence in this case is legally sufficient for the police to have charged Mr. Lewandowski, it is not strong enough too meet the legal burden of a reasonable likelihood of a conviction. It is unethical for us to file cases when we believe there is not a good faith basis to proceed.”
Lewandowski was charged in late March with simple battery after Fields accused him of having grabbed her at a March 8 campaign event she was covering for conservative news site Breitbart News. She later quit Breitbart for not supporting her after she went public with her complaint against Lewandowski.
Deputy prosecutor Adrienne Ellis added, “We’re not charging him because he was reacting to what he perceived as a potential threat,” according to NBC News.
Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks pointed iMediaEthics to the campaign statement on the news, which reads:
“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.”
See video from the Palm Beach State Attorney press conference statement below.
Last night, news outlets began reporting based on anonymous sources that the charge against Lewandowski would be dropped. Fields tweeted in response:
Prosecutor's office told me they would inform me of decision tomorrow. If reports true, guess they decided to leak to reporters first. Ugly.
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) April 14, 2016
Fields told conservative news site The Blaze she is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against Trump and Lewandowski. After Fields tweeted her allegations against Lewandowski days after the incident, Lewandowski called her “delusional.” He claimed he never touched her and the Trump campaign and Trump suggested she made up the story. (Images later released by the police department showed he did touch her.)
@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.
— Corey R. Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 11, 2016
Patrick Howley, a Breitbart reporter who was suspended briefly in March for publicly doubting Fields’ claims, tweeted after the charge against Lewandowski was dropped.