Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, has been officially charged with simple battery after his encounter with a reporter in Jupiter, Fla.
The New York Times reports on March 8 during the presidential candidate’s rally in Jupiter, Lewandowski grabbed the arm of former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields when she tried to ask the presidential candidate a question. Lewandowski wasn’t formally arrested but given the notice and court date, Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump says.
The incident ended up overshadowing his Super Tuesday primary wins and dismantling the conservative news site. In addition to Fields leaving Breitbart, editor-at-large Ben Shapiro and spokesman Kurt Bardella left the company over its wavering treatment of Fields.
Lewandowski was charged with one count of battery after Fields and Washington Post reporter, Ben Terris, who saw the incident gave statements to the police. Despite photo evidence, Lewandowski denied the claims, with Trump acting as his defender.
@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.
— Corey R. Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 11, 2016
The Republican candidate took to Twitter to bash the charge.
Actually, there’s a lot on the tapes. They show Lewandowski grabbing Fields’ arm.
Fields also took to Twitter after the encounter to show the bruise she sustained in the incident.
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 10, 2016
She also dismissed claims that she changed her story after video evidence surfaced.
Because my story never changed. Seriously, just stop lying. https://t.co/1fz9cBHOuT
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 29, 2016
Hicks told reporters Lewandowski is “absolutely innocent” in the incident and will plead not guilty. Lewandowski has been known to play aggressively with protestors at Trump’s notorious rallies. During an event in Tucson, Ariz., last week, he was seen grabbing the collar of a Trump protestor. Trump has called Lewandowski’s incidents towards removing protestors “spirited.”
Lewandowski will appear in court on the charge on May 4.