RFK Jr. contractor arrested for allegedly assaulting woman in New York

Trent Pool's firm has been key in trying to earn Kennedy ballot access.

May 3, 2024, 4:36 PM

NEW YORK -- A key figure in Robert F. Kennedy Jr's effort to make the ballot in all 50 states was arrested Saturday in New York City for allegedly striking a woman, according to the New York City Police Department.

Trent Pool, 37, whose petitioning company Accelevate 2020 received more than $300,000 from the Kennedy campaign in March, according to federal finance records, "wrapped his hand around [the woman's] neck making it hard for her to breath and then struck her with a closed fist, causing pain," the 25-year-old woman, who refused medical attention on scene, told police, according to an NYPD spokesperson.

Pool was charged with Criminal Obstruction of Breathing and Assault.

Mediaite first reported the arrest.

A Kennedy spokesperson told ABC News that Pool told campaign aides "the alleged incident never occurred" and referred ABC News to Pool's lawyer.

"Mr. Trent Pool is innocent of all charges and we look forward to demonstrating so in Court," Pool’s lawyer, Gregory Esposito, said in a statement, in part, to ABC News.

"In over 37 years of Trent’s life, my client has never been indicted or convicted of any violence of any kind,” he added later.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to attendees during a press conference, May 1, 2024, in New York.
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

His company, Accelevate 2020, is one of multiple vendors Kennedy's campaign has used to gather signatures from registered voters across the country in a sprint to gain access to each state's ballot. However, the firm was compensated far more in March than any other vendor doing similar work. A $300,000 payout to Accelevate 2020 was the campaign's second-largest expense in March overall, federal records show.

So far, the campaign said it has gained access to the ballot in at least 10 states, though in some of them, the campaign has bypassed the need for signatures by earning the nomination of minor parties with ballot access.

Kennedy, whose level of support has prompted attacks from Democrats and Republicans concerned that he will draw enough voters from their side to swing the election, must earn ballot access across the country -- especially in the pivotal swing states -- to make his threat to each party a reality.

Pool is the latest person on Kennedy's payroll to see negative headlines recently.

Last month, the campaign terminated its relationship with a New York-based contractor who encouraged voters to vote for Kennedy as a way to help elect former President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with NOTUS, top advisor Charles Eisenstein acknowledged that some of Kennedy's policy proposals, like offering first-time homebuyers a 3% mortgage rate, are likely unfeasible.

This week, the Wall Street Journal published a report on the campaign based on interviews with current and former staff members, at least one of whom described a campaign rife with "grifters and opportunists" doing more harm than good to Kennedy's operation.

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