Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery on Tuesday. Lewandowski turned himself in to Jupiter, FL police, was charged, and given a court date of May 4th.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred on March 8th, immediately following Trump’s much-discussed “QVC” press conference. Former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields claims she approached Trump with a question as he was leaving the venue. Before she could get the candidate’s attention, Lewandowski allegedly grabbed her by the arm and yanked her away from Trump. She later posted a picture of the resulting bruises on social media.
To the astonishment of many in the media, Trump refused to disassociate himself with his campaign manager on Tuesday. “Wow,” he said in a tweet, “Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes – nothing there!”
In a disgracefully-biased article on the arrest, the New York Times quoted Nita Chaudhary, the founder of anti-sexism advocacy group UltraViolet: “What Donald Trump is doing fits the very definition of victim blaming,” she told the paper. “It is not only unacceptable, it is actively dangerous. They are belittling Michelle Fields’ claim despite overwhelming evidence.”
Well, that’s the problem. The “overwhelming” evidence is decidedly…underwhelming. As Greta Van Susteren pointed out on her show Tuesday night, there’s not much meat on this bone.
“In my wildest dreams I don’t see how a jury ever convicts on this with all the ambiguity,” said the Fox News host, a former lawyer in her own right. “In fact, it looks like two Secret Service agents who were protecting Donald Trump are reaching for her. I don’t know whether or not that is what is provoking the bruises or not. That’s the problem. Here’s your reasonable doubt right there.”
Also working against Fields is her original statement to Jupiter Police. “I was jolted backwards,” she said at the time. “Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but I was able to maintain my balance nonetheless. I was shaking. Campaign managers aren’t supposed to try to forcibly throw reporters to the ground.”
The video, though, shows that the incident was much less dramatic than her original statement suggests. If we’re arresting people for “battery” on this kind of evidence, watch out. Police will be loading up the paddy wagons outside every sporting event or rock concert in America. There’s nothing to this story, and the police would not have acted on this complaint without the intense media spotlight. This isn’t, after all, the first time a Florida police department has been pushed into making a dubious arrest by a misguided public. Just ask George Zimmerman.