Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager Won’t Be Prosecuted For Battery

April 14, 2016

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, who was charged with battery after apparently grabbing the arm of a reporter, will not be prosecuted, according to a source close to the Palm Beach County, Fla., investigation.

Corey Lewandowski was charged with a misdemeanor after a video appeared to show him manhandling a Breitbart news reporter, as NPR’s Brian Naylor reported last month.

“According to the arrest report, the reporter, Michelle Fields, told police that she asked Trump a question after the March 8 event, as he was making his way toward the exit of the ballroom at the Trump National Golf Club, and felt someone “yank her left arm.” She then asked a Washington Post reporter standing nearby “if it was ‘Corey’ who grabbed her.” The Post reporter, Ben Terris, confirmed it was Lewandowski who had grabbed her arm. …

“Speaking to reporters on his plane in Wisconsin, Trump backed his campaign manager, saying Lewandowski was “very seriously maligned,” and said he would remain in his job. “I don’t discard people,” Trump said.

“Trump also claimed Fields grabbed him, and he disputed the charge that Lewandowski bruised Fields, saying “wouldn’t you think she would have yelled out a scream if she had bruises on her arm?” He said Fields could have had the bruises before the incident with Lewandowski. “How do you know those bruises [noted in a police report] weren’t there before?””

The incident led to Fields’ resignation from Breitbart, which she said had not supported her, as we reported.

“After Terris published his account of the incident for the Post, Breitbart CEO and President Larry Solov released a statement saying his company was “disappointed” in the Trump campaign’s response, adding that he stood behind Fields’ reporting. But the Breitbart site also ran a story saying that Lewandowski never “acknowledged” grabbing Fields — and BuzzFeed reported this weekend that Breitbart senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak had ordered reporters who wanted to defend Fields to stop tweeting and “speculating” about the story.”

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg plans to hold a press conference on the matter at 2 p.m. ET Thursday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.