The top lawyer for a North Carolina sheriff’s office late Monday admitted that authorities are likely incapable of charging Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSeven key players for Trump on immigration Spicer: Media coverage of Trump has not been fair Kasich finds it hard to rule out 2020 MORE with inciting a riot during a campaign rally last week.
“It doesn’t appear that we have sufficient evidence to warrant charging him at this time,” said Ronnie Mitchell, the lead attorney for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, according to The Washington Post.
“We have not been able to unearth evidence that [any instances] were incited or motivated by Mr. Trump,” Mitchell added of nearly 100 incidents getting probed by the sheriff’s office, including individual protests.
Reports emerged earlier on Monday that authorities were looking into the charges after a Trump supporter allegedly assaulted a protester last week.
“[A riot is] a public disturbance involving an assemblage of three or more persons which by disorderly and violent conduct, or, the imminent threat of disorderly and violent conduct, results in injury or damage to persons or property or creates a clear and present danger of injury or damage to persons or property,” North Carolina law states, according to The Washington Post.
It added that “inciting a riot” is a misdemeanor, defined when an individual “willfully incites or urges another to engage in a riot, so that as a result of such inciting or urging a riot occurs or a clear and present danger of a riot is created.”
Protester Rakeem Jones, 26, was sucker-punched while police were escorting him out of Trump’s rally last week. John Franklin McGraw, 78, was arrested the next day and charged with assaulting a protester and disorderly conduct.
Trump admitted on Sunday that he is researching whether he might pay for McGraw’s legal costs following his arrest.
He has repeatedly vowed he does not condone violence, adding that his supporters have a right to defending themselves from hostile and confrontational demonstrators.