Gov. Mike DeWine: 'I would hope that the charges would be dropped' for NewsNation reporter

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday he hopes charges against Evan Lambert, the NewsNation reporter who was arrested during DeWine's press conference last week, will be dropped.

The governor hosted a press conference in Columbus on Tuesday to provide updates about the train derailment that happened in East Palestine, Ohio, earlier this month.

"I have the same opinion that I had the first day, and that is I would hope that charges would be dropped," DeWine said about Lambert. " ... Whatever happened after the general walked away, the reality is that the reporter should not have been stopped, period."

Gov. Mike DeWine hosted a press conference about the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment on Tuesday.
Gov. Mike DeWine hosted a press conference about the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment on Tuesday.

Lambert was arrested Feb. 8 while trying to record a live broadcast during DeWine's press conference about the derailment.

According to a statement from the East Palestine Police Department, National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. John Harris and two members of the highway patrol tried to stop the reporter because he was loud. Body camera footage released by the highway patrol shows Harris pushing Lambert after an argument. Police said Harris felt threatened, but the footage does not show what happened to prompt the argument.

On Tuesday, DeWine said he spoke with Harris and that he regrets the incident.

"I think the general regrets that," DeWine said. "I explained to him how press conferences work, and the fact that sometimes during a live press conference, someone will be reporting directly."

"(Reporters) have the right to deliver the news however they want to deliver the news," he added. "(Harris) regrets the whole situation."

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According to NewsNation, Lambert was held in custody for about five hours before being released from jail.

The Columbiana County prosecutor's office said it referred the case to the Ohio attorney General's Office once it became clear multiple state agencies were involved in the arrest. Lambert was charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, according to online court records, and is scheduled to appear for an arraignment Feb. 23.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine hopes charges are dropped against Evan Lambert