Prosecutors in Florida will not file a formal battery charge against Donald Trump’s campaign manager, who was accused of grabbing a reporter’s arm in Florida last month, according to a person familiar with the case.
The campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, 42, was charged with battery after police in Jupiter, Fla., reviewed a video that shows him grabbing the arm of former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields as Trump walks through a crowd at the Trump National Golf Club.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg was scheduled to announce the decision Thursday afternoon, according to Politico, which first reported the development. The prosecutor’s decision was confirmed by a person who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Aronberg’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday evening.
Before police released the video, Lewandowski insisted he had never met Fields and that her entire story was false. “You are totally delusional,” Lewandowski said to Fields on Twitter a few days after the encounter. “I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.”
Yet eyewitnesses, including a Washington Post reporter, said they saw Lewandowski grab Fields’ arm, and Fields tweeted a picture of bruises on her forearm. A police report said the act constituted an unwelcome touching, one of the standards of the misdemeanor battery charge in Florida.
Trump has stood by his campaign manager, whom he has called a victim.
“I told him, ‘You should never settle this case; you should go all the way.’ I think they’ve really hurt a very good person, and I know it would be very easy for me to discard people. I don’t discard people,” Trump said of Lewandowski shortly after the charges were filed.
Fields has resigned from her reporting position at Breitbart, citing a lack of support.
A request for comment from Trump’s campaign was not immediately returned.