WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign manager will not be prosecuted on a misdemeanor battery charge after prosecutors determined there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of forcibly grabbing a female reporter, according to a court document filed Thursday.
Police had last month charged Corey Lewandowski after determining that a surveillance video showed the New York City resident grabbed reporter Michelle Fields by the arm. She worked for the conservative Breitbart News website at the time and was trying to ask Trump a question after a March 8 appearance. Fields later tweeted a photograph of her bruised forearm and said she had been yanked backward.READ MORE: No Mask Mandate In NYC Though De Blasio 'Strongly Recommends' Wearing Them
“Although there was probable cause to make an arrest, the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution,” according to a court document filed by state attorney Dave Aronberg.
Lewandowski, in a statement released by the campaign on Thursday, said he “appreciates the thoughtful confederation and professionalism” displayed by the state attorney in Palm Beach.
Lewandowski also said he appreciated Trump’s “loyalty” and the support of his colleagues. The campaign’s statement then declares “the matter is now concluded.”
Lewandowski had denied grabbing Fields and the Republican presidential candidate had stood by him, rejecting calls by his opponents to fire him.READ MORE: Exclusive: Victim Of Queens Mass Shooting Speaks Out, 'I Just Thought I Was Going To Die'
“Corey is a fine person,” Trump told reporters last month. “I think they’ve really hurt a very good person. I know it would be very easy for me to discard people. I don’t discard people, I stay with people. That’s why I stay with this country. That’s why I stay with a lot of people who are treated unfairly.”
Instead Trump went after Fields, accusing her of exaggerating and changing her story.
At a Wisconsin campaign rally hours after Lewandowski was charged, Trump read Fields’ account aloud: “Maybe he touched (her) a little bit, but I didn’t see,” Trump told the crowd. “It was almost like he was trying to keep her off me, right?”
Fields weighed in on Twitter: “My story never changed. Seriously, just stop lying.”
She quit Breitbart shortly after the altercation, saying its editors didn’t support her as they tried to maintain their relationship with Trump. Other Breitbart employees also quit.
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