(CN) – Donald Trump’s campaign manager will not be prosecuted on a misdemeanor battery charge after prosecutors in Florida found there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of manhandling a female reporter.
Police in Jupiter, Fla. charged Corey Lewandowski last month after reviewing a video from a Trump campaign event that showed the campaign manager grabbing reporter Michelle Fields as she tried to ask the Republican presidential frontrunner a question.
At a Thursday afternoon press conference, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office announced that it did not have enough evidence to prosecute Lewandowski over the alleged battery.
Fields had alleged that during a March 8 press conference at the Trump International Golf Club in Jupiter, Lewandowski grabbed her by the arm “and yanked [her] down” while she was trying to ask Trump a question.
“I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken,” Fields wrote.
The Town of Jupiter’s police department charged Lewandowski with assault on March 29, and then forwarded the matter to the State Attorney’s Office for review.
After conducting an independent investigation, Palm Beach County prosecutors determined the case against Lewandowski was too weak to pursue.
Chief Assistant prosecutor Adrienne Ellis said that at the time of the incident, Fields had approached Trump as Secret Service agents were trying to clear a path for the presidential candidate to exit the room.
“It appears, based on the freeze frames from the video recording and an independent photograph taken by a Washington Post photographer, that Ms. Fields brushed or touched Mr. Trump’s arm. Mr. Trump appears to react to Ms. Fields by pulling his arm back and away from her, at which time Mr. Lewandowski reached forward and grabbed Ms. Fields’ arm, pulling her away,” the state attorney’s office said Thursday.
After presenting a step-by-step video analysis of the incident, prosecutors stated that Lewandowski was reacting to a perceived intrusion into Trump’s space.
“Although the facts support the allegation that Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields’ arm against her will, [he] has a reasonable hypothesis of innocence. There is insufficient evidence to rebut these defenses,” the state attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors noted however that “one agent was positioned directly behind Ms. Fields and appeared to show no concern over her actions.”
“Mr. Lewandowski could have called this agent’s attention to her movements before taking action himself if he considered her a threat,” the state attorney’s office said. “In addition, soon after the incident, Mr. Lewandowski publicly denied ever touching Ms. Fields in any way.”
Lewandowski denied grabbing fields and Trump rejected calls to fire his aide.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon the Trump campaign said “Corey Lewandowski is gratified by the decision to drop the misdemeanor charge and appreciates the thoughtful consideration and professionalism by the Palm Beach State Attorney and his staff who carefully reviewed this matter, as well as Mr. Trump’s loyalty and the support of his colleagues and family during this time. The matter is now concluded.”
In this Aug. 25, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, walks with his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after speaking at a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa. A Florida prosecutor announced Thursday that Lewandowski won’t be prosecuted over a videotaped altercation with a female reporter. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
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