Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski Won't Be Prosecuted For His Alleged Battery Of Michelle Fields
Talk about a relieving few days for Team Trump. On Thursday, prosecutors in Palm Beach, Florida, announced that Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski won't be prosecuted for his alleged battery of ex-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. The incident took place weeks ago when Fields stating that Lewandowski had grabbed her by the arm and nearly pulled her to the ground following Trump's victory presser on March 8. In response, Lewandowski called Fields "delusional" and insisted he'd never touched her.
Lewandowski's response has more or less been conclusively disproven by security footage that was subsequently released by the police, showing him taking Fields by the arm as the reporter was trying to question Trump as he departed the venue. Regardless, the Palm Beach Country State Attorney's Office has declined to actually prosecute the 42-year-old political manager. And as the Associated Press details, a memo from Chief Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis explained the rationale — basically, it seems as if the Trump campaign's widely criticized counter-messaging about Fields being improperly close to Trump and possibly a threat to him was successful:
Mr. Lewandowski may have had apparent authority to assist in the protection of the candidate, specifically to maintain the "protective bubble" around the candidate. While the facts support the allegation that Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields' arm against her will, Mr. Lewandowski has a reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
Fields, for her part, has been open about the fact that she's considering a defamation lawsuit against Lewandowski and/or Trump, although how successful she'd be is unclear. In an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly back on March 12, just days after the run-in with Lewandowski, Fields described what happened as "aside from my father's death, the worst experience I've gone through":
They have basically done a character assassination on me. They are linking to blogs with conspiracies about me. They're not telling the truth. There's videos, there's pictures, there's an eyewitness of a Washington Post reporter who is very credible. They seem to not understand that. Their statements continue to say there's no eyewitnesses, there's no pictures, there's no videos. They continue to lie.
She has also stressed, both before and after the news that Lewandowski wouldn't be prosecuted, that the whole thing wouldn't have been an issue if he'd simply apologized to her, and she reiterated that to The Daily Beast on Friday:
I would just like an apology for defaming my character. That's what I wanted from the very beginning. I never wanted this to blow up, never to end up leaving my job. I just wish they had done the right thing from the very beginning and we could all have moved on.
Lewandowski reportedly responded by saying he'd called Fields the day following the incident, and that she didn't answer. It remains to be seen whether Fields will indeed pursue civil action, but for the time being, it seems like the Trump campaign's top dog is safe from any consequences over this.