DA to Announce No Prosecution of Trump Campaign Manager

According to Politico, Palm Beach County Attorney David Aronberg will announce tomorrow there will be no prosecution of Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski for battery.

Aronberg would not comment, but in a POLITICO interview last week, he pointed out that Jupiter police had a low “probable cause” standard to cite Lewandowski for battery. But the responsibility for moving forward with a full-blown prosecution rested with Aronberg’s office, which had to consider whether a crime occurred and whether they believed a jury of Floridians would prosecute.

(I think the last word in that quote was meant to be "convict" not prosecute.) Lewandowski was cited by the Jupiter, FL police for allegedly grabbing the arm of ex-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields who wanted to ask Trump a question after a news conference.

Miami attorney David Marcus told Politico while Lewandowski's conduct might technically fit the battery statute, it's not a wise use of the state's resources. [More...]

“If you asked people to describe a battery, this certainly wouldn't cut it. No injury, no damage, no nothing,” said veteran Miami criminal defense lawyer David Oscar Markus...Not every minor interaction needs to go to court. Time for everyone to chill out,” he said."

Since I haven't been following the case, I don't have an opinion on whether Trump's reported test balloon of a defense played a factor in Aronberg's expected conclusion the state was unlikely to meet its burden of proof:

More importantly — and subtly — Trump has repeatedly raised key points of the “defense of others” legal doctrine on Lewandowski’s behalf. The doctrine allows a defendant in a battery case to use non-deadly force to keep a person from battering another.

“She grabbed me. She touched me,” Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday, echoing remarks he made on Twitter, on CNN and to campaign reporters on the day Lewandowski was charged. “You can see I'm pulling my arm, you know … She's not supposed to be there. Now, maybe I should file charges against her for grabbing me or touching me.”

But it is entirely appropriate, and in fact the prosecutor's duty, to only try cases he or she believes the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Probable cause is indeed a low standard. Presumably, an investigation was conducted, videos were analyzed and witnesses were interviewed. I'd rather the DA drop a prosecution he has doubts about than proceed with one due to political pressure.

I doubt the citizens of Florida will be any less safe because this guy isn't prosecuted. Had he been prosecuted and convicted, a jail sentence was unlikely. Probation resources are in short supply everywhere -- surely they are better used to monitor someone who may pose a threat to the community than a campaign manager who may have been a bit heavy handed in dealing with a member of the press. The reporter can still bring a civil action against Lewandowski. Civil court seems like a more appropriate venue for redress of her claimed injuries.

< Tuesday Night TV and Open Thread | Dabiq 14, John Cantlie and Other ISIS News >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    As a citizen taxpayer of Florida (sob) (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 09:13:09 PM EST
    I agree with this decision. It's too bad Trump and Lewandowski are such jerks they could not have settled it with a polite apology or she might not have tried to press charges at all.

    As a Florida Tax Payer (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 09:27:59 PM EST
    I also agree with the decision.

    i'm not a FL taxpayer (none / 0) (#3)
    by linea on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 10:02:33 PM EST
    i hate this. i do not want the lesson learned to be "women are to delicate and histrionic to be hired for jobs as reporters." i'm not a fan of Michelle obviously.

    The alleged perpetrator, even if charged (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 10:51:44 PM EST
    w/misdmeanor battery and convicted would not have spent a minute in custody. And, yes, the prosecutor correctly declined to issue b/c he didnot have a good faith belief a jury would return a verdict of guilty.

    Gotta wonder if some of the initial enthusiasm (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 11:46:01 PM EST
    for pursuing this case wasn't simply because this case could have been a great way to embarrass the Great Usurper, Donald Trump?

    Embarrass may be too mild a verb.  For Trump's targets, the upstanding, highly respected, self serving pillars of Republican society, it's not just a Con Game; it's a way of life.


    Anti-Trump forces keep trying (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by NycNate on Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 06:42:18 AM EST
    This has to help Trump here. How many people have been the victim of a false accuser?  Duke Lacrosse as an example. How many people have been accused of something untrue?  Prisons are littered with people serving time over false allegations/witnesses. Trump stood by the accused.  He comes out winning in this.  

    If Trump is easily beatable by Hillary, isn't it better to just ignore him and hope he wins the nomination?  

    my feeling is that... (none / 0) (#11)
    by linea on Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 07:27:01 PM EST
    cruz is easily beaten by hillary. trump espouses an anti-corporate-globalism similar to bernie and that resonates with people. cruz wants to destroy SocSec and Medicare. trump wants to maintain those popular programs. just seems to me that cruz running on a generic GOP platform would be easier for the Dem candidate (ie, hillary) to beat.

    i read the DA's statement... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by linea on Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 07:36:42 PM EST
    ... it says she disobeyed instuctions by the secret service, invaded the secret service protective bubble, touched or brushed trump, and that the campaign staff are tasked by the secret service in assisting with candidate protection. thus, he has a legitimate defense to the "battery" of grabbing her arm due to her actions. also says the initial photo she took of her arm had no bruises.

    Fields may sue (none / 0) (#4)
    by ragebot on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 10:26:07 PM EST
    Reporter who accused Corey Lewandowski of battery may still pursue defamation case.

    Seems like there may be more to this than just this incident.  Six of Fields fellow reporters quit their jobs in support of her.  The thing is being a Breitbart reporter is probably not the best thing to put on a resume and I was not aware of her till this incident.  It will be interesting to see what kinda job interviews she and her follow journalists are able to secure.

    from what i hear... (none / 0) (#13)
    by linea on Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 08:14:56 PM EST
    the other pro-cruz reporters were upset that BB wasnt supporting a pro-cruz reporter assigned to follow trump. ben shipiro was already upset with BB's editorial decision to not go anti-trump. defending the "little lady from mean men" just seems convenient to me. thats what i heard.

    I agree with Bill Maher on this one (none / 0) (#5)
    by McBain on Wed Apr 13, 2016 at 10:42:52 PM EST
    This was an overblown incident and people are way too sensitive these days.  Fields looked like drama queen when she said this was the worst thing to ever happen to her.

    A criminal prosecution would have been absurd.  I don't think a civil case will go anywhere either.  


    Yes indeed... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 11:58:28 AM EST
    it would have been absurd...but we have no shortage of absurd prosecutions in this country!

    We will be left to wonder if things would have been different if it was just some regular black guy who touched a white woman's arm in Palm Beach County.  


    Well, if that's the worst thing that ever ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 16, 2016 at 06:03:39 PM EST
    ... happened to her, then she's blessed with good karma. But that said, while I would agree that prosecuting this case would have been a complete waste of the state's time and resources, the guy nevertheless did grab her hard enough to cause bruising, and that's battery regardless of whether not not she perhaps provoked his response. He should never have touched her, but instead should've called attention to her presence with the Secret Service and requested her removal beyond the candidate's security perimeter. Hopefully, lesson learned.

    you didnt read the DAs statement (none / 0) (#17)
    by linea on Sat Apr 16, 2016 at 08:23:34 PM EST
    the initial photo she took of her arm had no bruises.

    you can read my synopsis of the DAs statement above or read it yourself (google). it addresses many of the issues you raise and expains why he has a positive defense.


    SS asked her to leave (none / 0) (#18)
    by ragebot on Sat Apr 16, 2016 at 11:03:06 PM EST
    the area and it is on video.

    As to the worst thing that will happen to her I am not optimistic about her career path.  The SA said the original pix showed no injury, only a later one outside the chain of evidence.  There is also the possibility/probability of an imperfect defense.  Fine does not have to pose a threat, there just has to be a reasonable belief there is a threat.

    It was commonly known that some BB reporters were not happy with what BB supporting Trump and an argument could be made that there was a reasonable expectation that Fine would try and embarrass Trump in some way.

    Fine has done enough to raise questions about her credibility as a reporter.  Not so sure where she goes from here but her career as a reporter is most likely not going anywhere.


    her career path... (none / 0) (#19)
    by linea on Sun Apr 17, 2016 at 11:34:05 AM EST
    i started writing a snarky comment on her career path but decided against it.

    it devolved into a rant on those news shows where the men wear business suits appropriate to the office but the women wear dresses appropriate to a wine bar on friday night.  


    David Markus (none / 0) (#10)
    by Michael Masinter on Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 06:42:24 PM EST
    David spells his last name with a <k>.

    site violator (none / 0) (#15)
    by fishcamp on Sat Apr 16, 2016 at 08:37:02 AM EST