Corey Lewandowski, the man in charge of Donald Trump’s campaign, is now the subject of controversy due to allegations he assaulted a reporter in Jupiter, Florida. The relatively unknown campaign manager was reported to have forcefully grabbed a woman at a Trump rally on March 8, 2016. Local police released video footage showing the incident on Tuesday, March 29, and have issued a summons for the campaign manager to appear in court.
Lewandowski was relatively unknown in the presidential campaign circuit until he landed a meeting with Trump in December 2014. Trump hired him on the spot and the two began working on his Republican campaign for this election cycle.
Who Is Lewandowski?
The campaign manager had a blue collar upbringing, but he knew he had a future in politics. The Washington Post reported that in 1994, he ran for state representative while studying at the University of Massachusetts. He lost to a Democrat who grew up on the same street as him and then set his sights on Washington, D.C.
Recognizing his skills as a tactician, he decided to become a campaign manager. In 1997, he created a list of every House Republican who narrowly received a majority vote. He wrote all of them saying, “I want to manage your next campaign, because you need my help.”
After a few dead ends, he applied to the New Hampshire Police Academy. Graduating in 2006, he spent 3.5 years as a marine patrol officer. He decided to quit law enforcement, saying it was hard to manage his family, which consisted of four children and wife Alison.
He met his wife Alison in high school, where they dated until college before going their separate ways. In 1998, Alison married one of Lewandowski’s best friends, Brian Kinney. Three years later, Kinney boarded a plane in Boston. It was Sept. 11, 2001. His plane crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Four years later, a love blossomed out of tragedy, and he and his high school sweetheart were married. The Washington Post reports that the Lewandowski family make the pilgrimage to Kinney’s grave every Memorial Day.
Incidents at Rallies
The controversy revolves around an incident that happened at Trump’s rally in Jupiter, Fla., which was held at the Trump National Golf Club on March 8, 2016. A reporter attempted to ask Trump a question. She reported later that Lewandowski had forcefully grabbed her. NPR reported that at the rally, The Post‘s Ben Terris confirmed it was the campaign manager who had grabbed her. The police report stated Michelle Fields showed her left arm to an officer, “which revealed bruising from what appeared to be several finger marks, indicating a grabbing-type injury.”
Trump’s campaign manager admitted no wrongdoing. He denied having any involvement and called Fields “totally delusional” on Twitter.
Shortly after this incident, Lewandowski was involved in another altercation. Eleven days after the alleged assault in Fla., the campaign manager confronted a protester at the rally in Tucson, Ariz., grabbing the man by the collar.
Trump has also stuck by his campaign manager. Appearing on NBC’s Today Show, the businessman told co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie that Fields “lied” about the assault. He said, “[the incident] was so minor that he might not have even thought about it.”
Now, almost a month after the incident, police have made the video public. Released on Tuesday, March 29, the video caused a resurgence of publicity.
Is There Enough Evidence?
So far, local police have compiled evidence against Lewandowski. There is a video supporting the reporter’s story. Police documented bruises on the woman’s arm consistent with the allegations, and a fellow journalist identified the assailant. According to The Washington Post, police in Jupiter, Fla. are seeking to compile more eyewitness reports.
The police department has decided they have enough probable cause to issue a “notice to appear” for Lewandowski. Afterward, they will forward evidence to prosecutors.
If Lewandowski is convicted of battery, he could face up to a year in jail. According to The Washington Post, lawyers in the area say it is unlikey he will do jail time. As part of Florida’s victims’ rights law, the reporter will have a say in the outcome, although lawyers are predicting it will be settled out of court. It is most likely he will be sentenced to attend an anger management course.
Lewandowski’s alleged assault in Jupiter, Fla., could cause some criminal charges to be filed against the campaign manager. Although it is likely he will not receive jail time, this incident will have ramifications.
By Harrison Baker
NPR: Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s Campaign Manager, Charged With Battery
New York Times: Donald Trump Continues to Stand by Corey Lewandowski’s Side
The Washington Post: Who is Corey Lewandowski? His rise — and his relationship with Donald Trump
The Washington Post: Corey Lewandowski case: Is there a chance he won’t be prosecuted?
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License