On Tuesday, police charged Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, with simple battery, a misdemeanor which can carry up to a year in jail.
Police in Jupiter, Florida determined that probable cause existed to file a criminal complaint against Lewandowski following a videotaped altercation that occurred at a campaign event earlier this month. The video shows Lewandowski grabbing Michelle Fields, a reporter who approached Trump to ask a question. The police report explains that “Lewandowski grabbed Fields’ left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back.” Further, the investigating officer said that Fields showed police her left forearm, which, “appeared to show a grabbing-type injury.”
The Trump campaign said that Lewandowski will plead not guilty and “is completely confident that he will be exonerated.” Lewandowski, who is due in court on May 4th, has retained a Florida attorney who explained that there would be no further comment.
Trump himself has vowed to stand by his campaign manager and tried to cast doubts on the validity of the charges. “How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?” he asked. This is a reversal of Trump’s previous position that the incident never happened. Now, he suggested that Lewandowski was merely trying to block Fields from “grabbing and asking questions.”
Crimes generally require mens rea, otherwise known as criminal intent.
What do you think of the charges against Trump’s campaign manager? Did his conduct constitute Simple Assault or other criminal conduct? Was there mens rea? Or is this a situation that should not have resulted in criminal charges? Let us know in the comment section below.