The Florida prosecutor who will oversee the battery case against Donald Trump’s campaign manager is a donor to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and part of her Florida “leadership council” — but his office shut off any questions about his political stance as “inappropriate.”
A spokesman for Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg scolded a Herald reporter for requesting an interview with the Democrat to discuss how he’ll balance his own political leanings with the politically charged case against Lowell native Corey Lewandowski, calling it an “inappropriate conversation.”
“It’s an inappropriate request, and we’re not responding to it,” spokesman Mike Edmondson said in a brief telephone call.
The Harvard-educated Aronberg, who was elected in 2012, has been listed as a member of Clinton’s “Florida Leadership Council” since November, along with several state senators, representatives and local elected officials. He also gave $1,000 to Clinton’s campaign in January.
His office referred questions about the case to Jupiter, Fla., police, who said they had probable cause to charge Lewandowski, 42, with simple battery after reviewing surveillance video from a March campaign event in which they said he yanked the arm of former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields as she asked Trump a question.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about Aronberg and declined a request to speak to a Florida campaign surrogate. But Trump, through a Twitter post and televised comments to reporters aboard a Wisconsin-bound plane, ripped into the case, calling it “unfair” and encouraging Lewandowski to fight it.
“I told him, ‘You should never settle this case. You should go all the way,’ ” Trump said. “I think they’ve really hurt a very good person. And I know it would be very easy for me to discard people. I don’t discard people. … If you look at that tape, he was very, very seriously maligned and I think it’s very unfair.”
Trump also questioned whether Lewandowski caused the bruises Fields showed to police and posted pictures of on social media that she blamed on Lewandowski. The police report notes that Fields is seen on video “holding her phone up to Trump” to record him but makes no mention of any contact between the two.
Lewandowski’s attorney, Scott Richardson, referred to an earlier campaign statement that said Lewandowski, a New Hampshire resident, is “absolutely innocent of this charge.” He is due to appear in a Florida court May 4.
Police wrote in an affidavit released yesterday that after Fields had asked Trump a question, “she felt someone yank her left arm. She added that she fell back but caught herself from falling.”
“I can’t believe he just did that,” Fields is heard telling another reporter on her own recording, according to the report. “That was so hard. Was that Corey?” Police said the “motion cleared a path for Lewandowski to walk past Fields, allowing him to ‘catch up’ and get closer to Trump, who was walking during this entire incident.”
She showed police bruises on her arm that police said “appeared to be several finger marks indicating a grabbing type injury.”
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