Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski turned himself in to the Jupiter Police Department Tuesday morning after being charged with misdemeanor battery.
The arrest follows a series of denials by Lewandowski of former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields’ claim that he forcefully grabbed her and pulled her backward during a March 8 campaign event in Jupiter, Florida. Though Lewandowski previously dismissed Fields as “delusional,” surveillance video evidence released by the Jupiter PD has confirmed her story.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Lewandowski turned himself in just after 8 a.m. Tuesday. Despite the video footage clearly showing Lewandowski grabbing Fields, eyewitness account from Washington Post reporter Ben Terris, and the formal charges issued by Jupiter officials, the Trump campaign tweeted Tuesday that Lewandowski is “absolutely innocent” and even denied that he was arrested.
“Mr. Lewandowski was issued a Notice to Appear and given a court date,” the statement reads. “He was not arrested. Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge. He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated.”
Trump expressed his surprise at the arrest, tweeting, “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!”
Here is a shot of the charges filed against Lewandowski:
Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro highlighted the legal case for the charges:
A few days after the incident, Fields — who, along with Shapiro and a few others, has since resigned from Breitbart News due to the outlet’s grievous mishandling of the story — posted the following photograph showing the bruises she said Lewandowski left on her arm:
Despite the photographic evidence that she was manhandled as well as Terris’ published account of the incident, Lewandowski tweeted later that night that Fields was “delusional”:
Following the CNN Republican debate in Miami that week, Trump attempted to discredit Fields, suggesting she just “made up” the whole thing.
“Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened,” Trump told reporters. “I believe I was in the middle of a lot of Secret Service agents, and they all said that they never saw anything. And these are very honorable guys, they’re fantastic people, and there were a lot of them and nobody saw anything, and to the best of my knowledge there’s no pictures.”
The Trump campaign likewise formally denied the charges:
The situation got even uglier when Fields’ own employer did not fully back her, even running a story citing faulty “evidence” that Lewandowski did not grab her. The tension resulted in multiple resignations from Breitbart, including by Fields and Shapiro. Here’s Fields and Shapiro on “The Kelly File” discussing the situation: