After Donald Trump offered up a full defense of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, following him being charged with battery against a female reporter, the Trump campaign just received some terrible news!
A new report from Politico reveals that under Florida law, the broad definition of “battery” could prove problematic against Lewandowski. In other words, the case against him is “seen as strong.”
The strength of the allegations against Corey Lewandowski revolve around multiple factors that most simple battery cases don’t have: video, audio and eye-witness evidence that indicates he grabbed reporter Michelle Fields by the arm and yanked her out of Trump’s way without her permission.
The wording of Florida statute, 784.03 (1) (a) (1), cited by the Jupiter police officer who charged Lewandowski on Tuesday, is also broad and clear when it comes to the charge: “The offense of battery occurs when a person… Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other.
For veteran defense attorney Elizabeth L. Parker, the letter of the law and the wealth of evidence against Lewandowski make this a tough case for him to defend if prosecutors decide to pursue it.
“You have the most corroborating evidence I’ve seen in a battery case in a long time,” said Parker, who supervised battery cases from 2003-2011 as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County, where the incident occurred.
“It’s not often you get a crime caught on tape. Most battery cases are he-said, she-said. And the police come and the police make a determination. And prosecutors look to see if there’s any corroborating evidence. Are there any injuries? Any independent witnesses? – things like that,” Parker said. “And here we have all of that…. Again, it’s very rare, and it’s a very prosecutable case.”
Whether the case gets prosecuted, however, is another matter.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has yet to receive the case from the Jupiter Police Department and couldn’t comment on it, said spokesman Mike Edmondson. He said the police officer made a determination to charge based on “probable cause” that a crime occurred. But, he said, prosecutors have to decide two extra factors before bringing the case: “if the state can meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and if there’s a reasonable likelihood of conviction before moving forward with a charge.”
A former Miami police officer, McGeehan said an officer would normally make a simple battery charge in a low-profile case involving private citizens who, say, got in a fight in a bar.
“But if you, me and Donald Trump get in a fist fight in a parking lot, they’re going to take it to the state attorney and go ‘hey, what should we do with this?’ At least that’s been my experience in Dade County and I was a policeman for 22 years,” McGeehan said.
As for the underlying charge, McGeehan and Parker were in clear agreement: “Battery? Yeah,” he said. “Under the statute – under the broad statute – yeah: Battery.”
Here’s a report on the alleged assault:
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