The state of Florida has thrown out battery charges against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, in the case of an incident on the night of the Michigan primary involving former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields.
Palm Beach County Attorney David Aronberg said that while police were well within their rights to arrest Lewandowski for simple battery after reviewing the now-viral video of what appears to show Lewandowski grabbing Fields' wrist, prosecutors are held to a higher standard of evidence and didn't find enough to bring criminal charges against Lewandowski, CNN reports.
Whether or not one accepts the various excuses made for the occurrence -- it happened at a crowded political event, Lewandowski's job was to control access around Trump -- Trump's campaign absolutely deserves to be criticized for its disastrous response to the incident, which yet leaves open the possibility that Lewandowski still may face defamation charges against Fields.
After the release of the video, Lewandowski made repeated public denials that he had ever even touched Fields. From watching the video, it is difficult to determine how hard Lewandowski is grabbing Fields' arm, but if it left a bruise -- as Fields showed police a few days after it happened -- then it must have been fairly forceful.
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Trump himself made a big show of publicly supporting Lewandowski and even bringing him on stage during his victory speech in Florida. The most outrageous thing he's done in relation to the case is suggest that Fields was a security threat because she was holding a pen, and the Secret Service might have mistaken it for a "little bomb," according to Trump.
If Trump, Lewandowski or someone on Trump's campaign had offered Fields an apology after the incident -- as her arm was clearly and forcefully grabbed -- this may have never happened. But apologizing has not been apart of Trump's campaign repertoire until recently; Fields' record was smeared all over the Internet by Trump's supporters after the incident occurred with no discouragement from the campaign.
If the campaign had waited long enough, Trump would have been able to do what he does best: play the victim of a hostile media environment. The fact that no criminal charges have been filed against Lewandowski should be a victory for the campaign, but it has already mounted an overly aggressive counterattack against its opponents on the issue to the point of actually denying that the content shown on the video was real.
If an apology had been made by Trump's campaign, additionally, any attempt by Fields or other media outlets to keep the incident in the news would now be seen as a blatant attempt to hurt Trump's campaign chances. As it is, the campaign reacted with a whole bunch of lies which have arguably made Trump's path to the nomination more difficult.