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U.S. Politics Charges dropped against woman accused of assaulting White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway

White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway takes part in a forum called Generation Next at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, U.S., on March 22, 2018.

Leah Millis/Reuters

Prosecutors have dropped a criminal case against a Maryland woman who was charged with assaulting White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway during a confrontation last year at a restaurant in a Washington suburb.

A trial for Mary Elizabeth Inabinett, 63, of Chevy Chase, was scheduled to start Monday morning in Montgomery County, Maryland. Instead, a county prosecutor asked a judge to dismiss the charges.

Police had charged Inabinett last November with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

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Conway declined to comment on the dismissal.

Conway had told police she was attending a birthday party with her teenage daughter at a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, last October when she felt somebody grab her shoulders from behind and shake her. The woman who confronted Conway yelled, “Shame on you” and “other comments believed to be about Conway’s political views,” according to a charging document prepared by Montgomery County police.

Conway wasn’t injured, the document says.

Montgomery County prosecutor Kathy Knight said Inabinett sent Conway a letter apologizing for the incident.

“She has apologized for choosing this time and place to vent her political views,” Knight said. “That was inappropriate.”

Knight noted Inabinett had never been arrested for a crime before.

Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office said dropping the charges is “the best resolution for this particular set of circumstances.”

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Maraya Pratt, an attorney for Inabinett, said Monday that she couldn’t immediately comment. Another attorney for Inabinett, William Alden McDaniel, Jr., said in a statement in February that his client didn’t assault Conway and was merely exercising her right to express her personal opinions about a public figure in a public place.

aIn a CNN interview earlier this year, Conway said she was standing next to her middle school-aged daughter and some of her daughter’s friends when the woman began shaking her “to the point where I thought maybe somebody was hugging me.” She said it felt “weird” and “a little aggressive,” so she turned around to face the woman.

“She was just unhinged. She was out of control,” she said. “Her whole face was terror and anger.”

Conway said she told President Donald Trump about the incident “long after” it happened. She said Trump asked her, “Are you OK? Is your daughter OK? Are the other girls OK?”

The restaurant’s manager told police the woman who confronted Conway had to be forcibly removed from the premises. Conway told police the woman yelled and gestured at her for 8 to 10 minutes before she was escorted out of the restaurant. Conway’s daughter provided officers with a short video clip and photograph of the encounter.

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