We stay away from discussions about politics on KOC and I don’t want to stray into that verboten territory with this blog. Today’s discussion is simply about the misdemeanor charge against Donald Trump’s campaign manager—how it is defined, what the potential punishment is, and what defense he could use.
On March 8, 2016, now former Breibart News reporter Michelle Fields was quite close to Trump and asked him a question. This occurred at the Trump National Golf Club in Florida. She says (and video now appears to support) that Trump’s campaign manager intervened. The manager, Corey Lewandowski, grabbed Fields’s left forearm and apparently squeezed hard enough to leave bruises consistent with fingers.
Fields filed a report of the incident with the Jupiter, FL Police Department on March 11 though she reportedly discussed the matter with others in the intervening three days.
On March 29, 2016, Lewandowski was charged with Simple Battery in Florida, a first degree misdemeanor. He denies the allegations, and Trump stands behind his manager.
So what is Simple Battery?
The crime of Simple Battery is defined under Section 784.03 of the Florida Statutes. In Florida, the term battery means:
- Any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against that person’s will (non-consensual), or
- The intentional causing of bodily harm to another person.
In sum, it’s an unwanted, intentional touching that doesn’t require any injury to prove. Based on the definition, it sure sounds like Lewandowski committed a simple battery upon Fields.
This first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1000.00 fine and up to one year of probation.
There is, however, a defense that could prevail–the defense of protecting another. It could be argued that Fields was getting too close to Trump and that Lewandowski stepped in as a precautionary move. Did he perceive a threat to Trump by Fields? Hard to say—we need to hear from him. Did he need to grab her and allegedly cause bruises? Probably not. Was he just being a bully? Maybe.
But, given all the circumstances, it could be found that his conduct wasn’t so unreasonable under the circumstances.
Lewandowski has a May 4, 2016 court date after which we should know more. I assume the hearing will be streamed.
Lewandowski is represented by West Palm Beach attorney, Scott Richardson, and Miami attorney, Kendall Coffey who used to be a frequent guest on Court TV.