Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Donald Trump’s campaign manager charged with battery for grabbing journalist

Trump's campaign continued to deny that the incident occurred despite video proof.

 

Patrick Howell O'Neill

IRL

Published Mar 29, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 12:47 am CDT

Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump‘s campaign manager, has been charged with battery for grabbing a former Breitbart News reporter during a rally in Florida.

Featured Video Hide

Police in Jupiter, Florida, announced the charge of simple battery on Tuesday morning and released surveillance footage that clearly showed Lewandowski grabbing the reporter, Michelle Fields.

Advertisement Hide

https://twitter.com/JGreenDC/status/714831250628993024

Despite the fact that the video clearly shows the incident, the Trump campaign denied that Lewandowski had struck Fields, saying in a statement that he was “absolutely innocent of this charge.”

Trump personally defended Lewandowski a few hours later, tweeting, “Look at tapes—nothing there!”

Advertisement Hide

Fields, who left Breitbart after the conservative blog’s tepid response to the incident, filed a criminal complaint against Lewandowski for grabbing her and pushing her to the ground as she asked Trump a question at the rally.

Trump initially said that Fields might have “made up the story,” despite video evidence and eyewitness reports to the contrary. Fields posted a picture of the bruise that she received from the incident. 

While Jupiter police did not continuously detain Lewandowski, they issued him a “notice to appear” in court to answer the battery charge, which is formally considered an arrest.

Lewandowski’s attack on Fields is part of a larger pattern of violence at Trump rallies. North Carolina police at one point considered charging Trump with inciting a riot.

Advertisement Hide

Update 11:47am CT, March 29: Added Trump tweet.

Update 2:40pm CT, March 29: According to Daily Mail U.S. Politics Editor David Martosko, a member of Trump’s Secret Service detail said Fields repeatedly touched Trump prior to Lewandowski grabbing her. 

https://twitter.com/dmartosko/status/714884879691997189

While it is unclear from the video released by Jupiter police whether this happened, Trump appeared to confirm the reported Secret Service member’s statement and questioned whether he could press charges against Fields.

Advertisement Hide

Correction: While Lewandowski has not been continuously detained, a “notice to appear” technically constitutes an arrest.

Advertisement Hide

H/T Justin Green/Twitter | Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 29, 2016, 12:32 pm CDT