Trump cam­paign man­ager charged with bat­tery

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

Police charged Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign man­ager with sim­ple bat­tery Tues­day as a video­taped al­ter­ca­tion with a re­porter trans­formed what was an­other messy cam­paign sideshow into a crim­i­nal court sum­mons. Trump de­cried the charges.

The Jupiter, Florida, police de­ter­mined that prob­a­ble cause ex­isted to charge Corey Le­wandowski, who has served as Trump’s most trusted po­lit­i­cal ad­viser for much of the past year. Police on Tues­day morn­ing is­sued Le­wandowski a no­tice to ap­pear be­fore a judge on May 4 for the mis­de­meanour charge, which car­ries up to a year in jail.

It’s un­clear what im­pact, if any, the news will have on Trump’s march to­ward his party’s pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. Crit­ics cast it as an­other ex­am­ple of why the brash bil­lion­aire would strug­gle to at­tract women in a prospec­tive race against Demo­cratic fron­trun­ner Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Speak­ing to re­porters on his air­plane in Wis­con­sin Tues­day, Trump said Le­wandowski has been “very se­ri­ously ma­ligned,’’ vow­ing to stand by him.

“I can’t just stand by and watch a man’s life be de­stroyed,’’ Trump said. “I’m stick­ing up for a per­son be­cause I’m not go­ing to let a per­son’s life be de­stroyed. No jury, in my opinion, would con­vict a man and de­stroy a man’s life over what you wit­nessed.’’

This in­jects a court bat­tle into an al­ready con­tentious Repub­li­can pri­mary sea­son just a week be­fore a high-pro­file pri­mary elec­tion in Wis­con­sin.

The Trump cam­paign re­leased a state­ment declar­ing Le­wandowski “ab­so­lutely in­no­cent of this charge.’’

“He will en­ter a plea of not guilty and looks for­ward to his day in court,’’ said the state- ment. “He is com­pletely con­fi­dent that he will be ex­on­er­ated.’’

Police charged Le­wandowski af­ter re­view­ing a sur­veil­lance video of the in­ci­dent, ob­tained from se­cu­rity at the Trumpowned prop­erty. Police de­ter­mined that the video shows Le­wandowski grab­bing Michelle Fields, who worked for Bre­it­bart News at the time, as she tried to ask Trump a ques­tion dur­ing a March 8 cam­paign event.

Trump cast doubt on her claims, telling re­porters that he doubts her claims that she suf­fered bruises from Le­wandowski.

AP PHOTO

Don­ald Trump's cam­paign man­ager Corey Le­wandowski (left) lis­tens as Trump speaks in Palm Beach, Fla.

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