DailyMail.com is picturing Beth Inabinett, 63, for the first time. She faces a March trial in Maryland for second-degree assault related to an alleged physical attack on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway
The woman who presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway says physically assaulted her in October is married to the CEO of a $43 million environmental charity and manages volunteers for a nonprofit that boasts ’empathy’ as ‘a priority skill’ for ‘living and working together in this radically different world.’
DailyMail.com is picturing Beth Inabinett, 63, for the first time. She faces a March trial for second-degree assault in Montgomery County, Maryland. Inabinett could also be charged with a federal crime, according to a Justice Department official.
The case stems from an incident during a birthday party at a restaurant near Washington, D.C. Conway told DailyMail.com that Inabinett ‘grabbed me from behind’ and ‘shook me repeatedly.’
Inabinett is married to Andy Sharpless, a former executive vice president of Discovery.com who has served as CEO of Oceana since 2003. The celebrated environmental group works to preserve and restore ocean ecosystems worldwide.
She describes herself in her LinkednIn profile as a former ‘Alinsky-style community organizer in Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia and Massachusetts’ who now works as a volunteer recruiter at Ashoka, a Virginia-based nonprofit that supports more than 3,500 social entrepreneurs.
Ashoka lists ’empathy’ first among the planks in its platform for global success, describing it as ‘the ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others.’
‘In a changemaker world, empathy is as fundamental as reading and math,’ according to the organization’s website.
Sharpless is a birthright Quaker. Inabinett has accompanied him to meetings of the Christian sect, which emphasizes pacifism and nonviolence in its teachings.
A 2013 newsletter of the Third Haven Friends Meeting in Easton, Maryland, pictures them in a family reunion photo along with their daughters and Sharpless’s parents. The same newsletter solicited registrations for a workshop of the Quaker meeting house’s ‘Alternatives to Violence Project.’
Conway, pictured at right during President Donald Trump’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, says Inabinett grabbed her from behind and shook her; witnesses said she yelled ‘Shame on you’ at the influential White House adviser
This photo shows Inabinett (circled) and her husband Andy Sharpless (the tall man at center-right) during a 2013 family reunion at a Maryland Quaker meeting house that teaches nonviolence
Conway first spoke about the altercation Friday on CNN, saying she had kept quiet about it in October because children were present
Conway, who ran President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 campaign, said Inabinett ‘ought to pay’ for getting in her face and assaulting her at a birthday dinner
A police report says Inabinett yelled ‘Shame on you’ at Conway, and ‘other comments believed to about Conway’s political views.’ Conway says she physically attacked her.
‘This was not a social media spat or a publicity-hungry attempt by owners or activists in a restaurant to go viral,’ Conway told DailyMail.com.
‘This woman now facing criminal charges grabbed me from behind, shook me repeatedly, inches away from my teenage daughter, with many witnesses, and no denial from her at that time. I told her repeatedly to get her hands off of me.’
Bill McDaniel Jr., a lawyer representing Inabinett, told DailyMail.com in a statement Tuesday that his client ‘saw Kellyanne Conway, a public figure, in a public place, and exercised her First Amendment right to express her personal opinions.’
‘She did not assault Ms. Conway,’ McDaniel said. ‘The facts at trial will show this to be true, and show Ms. Conway’s account to be false.’
Inabinett answered her door in a Washington, D.C. suburb on Tuesday morning and said only: ‘You know I really can’t comment.’
Sharpless referred DailyMail.com’s questions to McDaniel. Ashoka did not respond to a request for comment.
Uncle Julio’s Restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, is where Conway says she was grabbed and shaken by a woman late last year
The altercation happened October 14, less than a week after Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing-in. The Kavanaugh saga left many liberals in Washington dejected after allegations of past sexual misconduct were insufficient to help Senate Democrats derail his nomination.
California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters made waves months earlier by encouraging opponents of the Trump administration to harass White House officials wherever they see them.
‘Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,’ Waters said on June 23, 2018.
She said on MSNBC hours later that her supporters were ‘going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, “No, I can’t hang with you”.’
Inabinett describes herself on her LinkedIn profile page as a former ‘Alinsky-style community organizer’ after her college years
Saul Alinsky was a famed counterculture activist organizer in the 1960s who taught radicals how to isolate their foes and bait them into conflicts
Waters is now chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. Trump responded at the time by calling her ‘an extraordinarily low IQ person.’
A Justice Department official suggested Monday that Inabinett could be charged with a federal crime for physically attacking Conway, in addition to her state-level charge.
Section 111 of U.S. Code title 18 makes it a misdemeanor to ‘assault’ or ‘intimidate’ an officer of the federal government ‘while engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties.’
Since physical contact was allegedly involved, the DOJ official said, the case could be prosecuted as a Class D felony. That would be unlikely unless the victim was physically harmed, the official said.
Conway, like all senior-level White House aides, is a commissioned officer of the government.
McDaniel responded Tuesday to a question about the possibility of federal authorities issuing a warrant for Inabinett’s arrest, reiterating his insistence on her innocence.
‘We stand by our statement: Conway’s story is false, no assault occurred, and the evidence at any trial will so prove,’ he wrote in an email.
Conway first spoke about the October altercation in a CNN interview last week, saying that Inabinett ‘was grabbing me from behind, grabbing my arms, and was shaking me to the point where I felt maybe somebody was hugging me.’
‘She was out of control. I don’t even know how to explain her to you. She was just, her whole face was terror and anger. She was right here, and my daughter was right there. She ought to pay for that.’
The October 14 altercation came in the days following the Senate confirmation and swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a saga that polarized Washington and left many opponents of the Trump administration feeling frustrated and angry
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters said last summer that opponents of the Trump administration should harass the president’s aides wherever they are seen in public
Conway said she didn’t discuss the harrowing blowup in 2018 because ‘there were other people’s kids there.’
‘I don’t want it to become a thing, I just want it to become a teachable moment for everyone,’ she said.
Inabinett’s description of herself as an ‘Alinsky-style community organizer’ aligns her with one of the left’s most influential 1960s counterculture activists.
Saul Alinsky wrote ‘Rules for Radicals,’ arguing that organizers should try to ‘maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a “dangerous enemy”.’
‘Action comes from keeping the heat on. No politician can sit on a hot issue if you make it hot enough,’ he wrote in the 1971 book, which became a template for much of the protest movement that inspired a young Hillary Clinton.
Clinton wrote her undergraduate senior thesis on Alinsky’s protest model, titling it: ‘There Is Only the Fight.’