After weeks of investigation and a media firestorm, Palm Beach County prosecutors dropped simple battery charges Thursday against Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Reporter Michelle Fields filed the charges after being grabbed and bruised by Lewandowski during a campaign event at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
"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," the legal brief states.
During a press conference announcing the end of the criminal case, prosecutors said Lewandowski's argued he was defending Donald Trump from a perceived threat.
FL prosecutor opens w/ analysis of proof - says police had prob. cause for charging Lewandowski, but doesn't think likely he'd be convicted— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 14, 2016
As reported, most simple battery charges don't go to trial -- they result in pleas, apology or anger management etc— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 14, 2016
Bottom line: Prosecutors concluded (legitimate) security rationales involved with a prez candidate provide strong defense for Lewandowski— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 14, 2016
On the law, this prosecutor is offering a fairly strong exoneration of Lewandowski.— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 14, 2016
On the facts, he still suggests Lewandowski lied.
Prosecutors confirmed Lewandowski did in fact grab Fields, an accusation he strongly and publicly denied.
"The facts show Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields against her will," Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said.
@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.— Corey Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 11, 2016
Prosecutor rebuts Lewandowski's denial, says "no reasonable doubt" that he pulled Fields' arm.— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 14, 2016
Lewandowski's defense changed from "I never touched her, she's delusional" to "I was defending my candidate."
Prosecutors also confirmed an apology had been drafted by Lewandowski's legal campaign, but that it hadn't been delievered at the time the charges were dropped. Prosecutors said an apology in cases like this is "always a good idea" and stated the entire criminal process could have been avoided had Lewandowski issued an apology shortly after the incident occurred in March.
"Had an apology been given, this entire criminal justice proceeding could have been avoided," Aronberg said.
Fields has maintained for weeks that an apology was all she wanted. She filed a police report after the Trump campaign questioned her injuries and after Donald Trump publicly accused her of "making up" the incident.
Good news for Trump:— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 14, 2016
Prosecutor clears campaign manager of battery
Bad news for Trump:
Prosecutor suggests campaign manager lied about it