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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Authorities Drop Battery Charges Against Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski

    Apr 14 2016, 2:42 pm ET

    Authorities Drop Battery Charges Against Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski

    by Jon Schuppe and Kerry Sanders

    Authorities in Florida said Thursday they would not proceed with their case against Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, saying there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of attacking a reporter at a rally last month, according to court documents.

    Lewandowski, 42, was charged by police with simple battery after Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields accused him of grabbing her as she attempted to ask Trump a question at a March 8 campaign event in Jupiter. But on Thursday, Palm Beach County prosecutors said that while Lewandowski had grabbed Fields ó contradicting the aide's denials ó the evidence was not strong enough to support a criminal prosecution.

    Lewandowski initially said he never touched Fields, but video released by police showed that he did make contact with her. Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronburg said in a news conference that the video "undermined" Lewandowski's defense but "did not outweigh" his claim of innocence.

    Aronburg and an assistant prosecutor who oversaw the case, Adrienne Ellis, said key evidence that undermined the charge was Fields' leaving an assigned press area and entering a "protective bubble" maintained by Secret Service agents. She then reached out and touched Trump with her left hand. Trump "recoiled," and Lewandowski, who was just behind them, pulled her away.

    "We're not charging him because he was reacting to what he perceived as a potential threat," Ellis said.

    Aronburg pointed out, however, that a nearby Secret Service agent did not seem to perceive such a threat.

    He also said that Trump had contacted his office to point out that Fields had touched him. But that contact was considered "incidental" and did not rise to the level of criminal conduct, Aronburg said.

    Investigators spoke to Fields three times, and Lewandowski's lawyer several times, but never the aide himself, the prosecutors said.

    The Trump campaign released a statement saying Lewandowski was "gratified" by the decision to drop the charge. "The matter is now concluded," the campaign said.

    Fields said that the prosecutor's office called her two weeks ago and that she agreed to a deal in which Lewandowski would issue her an apology. She said she hadn't heard back about the arrangement, and a source familiar with the situation told NBC News that it wasn't clear whether Lewandowski had accepted the proposal.

    Aronburg said Thursday that Lewandowski's lawyer had submitted a draft of a short apology this week but declined to describe it in detail. He said that talks of an apology did not have any impact on their decision whether to pursue charges. But he added, "had an apology been given at the beginning of all this, we could have avoided this mess."

    Fields and three of her colleagues resigned from Breitbart, a prominent force in conservative politics, after the site published an account questioning Fields' allegations. "I can't stand with an organization that won't stand by me," she said at the time.

    Lewandowski remains Trump's campaign manager, but it's unclear whether he retains day-to-day control over the operation after veteran Republican operative Paul Manafort was recently appointed convention manager.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...dowski-n556051
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    It will be nice when this campaign can get back to the story of the candidates, voters and the issues instead of female reporters, journalists and talk show hosts wanting to cover and report on the 2016 elections. It's no longer professional journalism when journalists want to be the story instead of the story they're paid to report about.
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