Donald Trump almost faced charges over North Carolina campaign violence

The Republican said of his supporters targeting protesters: 'They started punching back. It was a beautiful thing.'

Authorities in North Carolina say there is not enough evidence to press charges against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for his behaviour in connection with a violent altercation at one of his rallies last week.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said legal counsel advised and Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler agreed that the evidence did not meet the requirements of North Carolina law to support a conviction for inciting a riot.

The sheriff's office said while other aspects of its investigation are continuing, the investigation related to Mr Trump and his campaign is over and no charges are anticipated.

Investigators looked at the rally last Wednesday in Fayetteville, during which a man was hit in the face while being escorted out.

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An-anti Trump protester shouts at the rally in Fayetteville

Authorities have already charged a rally attendee with assault, disorderly conduct and communicating threats after he was caught on video hitting the man being led out by deputies.

At one point during the rally, Mr Trump described a previous event in which a protester traded punches with his supporters, telling the audience: “They started punching back. It was a beautiful thing.”

In a statement, Mr Trump's campaign said: “The arena was rented for a private event, paid for by the campaign and these people attended with the intent to cause trouble. They were only there to agitate and anger the crowd. It is the protesters and agitators who are in violation, not Mr Trump or the campaign.”

PA

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