Could Corey Lewandowski Go To Prison? The Battery Charge Is A Big Deal
On Tuesday, Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's campaign manager, was officially charged with battery by the state of Florida over an incident at a March 8 campaign event, where Lewandowski allegedly grabbed and bruised now-former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields's arm. According to a statement by the Trump campaign, Lewandowski was not arrested, and simply issued a court date for the charge. Lewandowski, who denied the charges when the story broke earlier this month, has not made his own statement at this time.
According to CNBC, the charge against Lewandowski is simple battery, a misdemeanor in Florida. Maximum penalties can be up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and/or $1,000 in fines. If he's found guilty, Lewandowski's sentence could be any combination of these three. The Trump campaign has already stated that Lewandowski intends to plead not guilty to the charge, meaning he is denying "every material allegation in the indictment or information on which the defendant is to be tried." However, the Jupiter Police Department released a video which clearly shows Lewandowski touching Fields, which is enough in the state of Florida to warrant a conviction of battery, as "non-consensual touching is sufficient" for a charge.
Fields filed a criminal complaint with the Jupiter Police Department on March 10 and tweeted a photo of her left arm the same day, which showed several visible bruises. In the tweet, she tagged Lewandowski and Donald Trump, whose campaign had already denied the story, saying, "I guess these [bruises] just magically appeared on me @CLewandowski_ @realDonaldTrump. So weird." The photo is consistent with the police video, which shows Fields' left arm being grabbed. Following the incident, Fields and three of her Breitbart colleagues, editor-at-large Ben Shapiro, national security reporter Jordan Schachtel, and editor Jarrett Stepman, resigned from the outlet, citing the company's alleged bias toward Trump and mistreatment of Fields following her ordeal. Breitbart did not comment on the resignations, but the chief executive did issue a statement supporting Fields and asking for an apology from Lewandowski.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign claimed that Lewandowski did not touch Fields and that another reporter was possibly the assailant. However, Jamie Weinstein, senior editor for The Daily Caller and Fields' boyfriend, claims he was an eyewitness to the incident and that he clearly saw Lewandowski commit the alleged battery. It is unclear how Lewandowski will defend himself against the charge, but the Trump campaign has repeatedly insisted on his innocence.