Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been charged with battery by Florida authorities in connection to an incident involving a reporter earlier this month.
A spokesman for the GOP presidential candidate told TheWrap on Tuesday that “Lewandowski was issued a Notice to Appear and given a court date. He was not arrested.”
“Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge,” the statement continues. “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.”
According to the Associated Press, Lewandowski will appear before a judge on May 4 for the misdemeanor offense.
Lewandowski was charged after a surveillance video shows him appearing to grab a Breitbart News reporter when she tried to ask Trump a question during a March 8 campaign event.
Shortly after the event Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks tried to deflate the situation in a statement to The New York Times.
“Corey Lewandowski was speaking with a protester at today’s rally in Tucson, Arizona when the individual he was speaking with was pulled from behind by the man to Lewandowski’s left,” Hicks said. “The video clearly shows the protester reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr. Lewandowski. Mr. Trump does not condone violence at his rallies, which are private events paid for by the campaign.”
The official police report obtained by the AP includes an interview with the Breitbart reporter, Michelle Fields, who explained the incident.
“Lewandowski grabbed Fields’ left arm with his right hand causing her to turn and step back,” read the report. According to the document, Fields also showed police her left forearm which “appeared to show a grabbing-type injury.”
At the event, Fields was trying to ask Trump a question as he was leaving a press conference in Arizona when his Secret Service detail was beginning to clear the path for Republican frontrunner. That’s when Fields was allegedly forcibly grabbed on her arm by Lewandowski, nearly throwing her to the ground, a source who witnessed the situation told Politico.
The alleged manhandling has led to the resignation of a spokesman for the conservative media outlet.