Defense Closing Argument: No Evidence Rittenhouse a ‘White Supremacist Looking for Trouble’

Mark Richards (Sean Krajacic - Pool / Getty)
Sean Krajacic - Pool / Getty

Defense attorney Mark Richards presented the closing argument in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday afternoon in Kenosha, Wisconsin, telling jurors that the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

Richards began by showing jurors a mistake that the prosecutor, Thomas Binger, had just made, proving that the first alleged “victim” in the shootings, Joseph Rosenbaum, was somewhere that the prosecution said he had not been.

Richards attacked Binger’s claim that Rosenbaum was somehow an innocent bystander who happened to stroll into the riots in Kenosha on August 25, 2020, noting that he had walked four miles from his girlfriend’s house to reach the violence in the center of town.

“Kyle shot Joseph Rosenbaum to stop a threat to his person,” Richards said. “And I’m glad he shot him, because if Joseph Rosenbaum had gotten that gun, I don’t believe for a minute that wouldn’t have used it against somebody else.”

He narrated the series of events that led Rittenhouse to shoot Rosenbaum, then Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz, killing the two former and wounding the latter. He noted that Rittenhouse was trying to flee and was chased and attacked by all three, and that he acted out of the reasonable belief that he would suffer death or gross bodily harm. He also noted that his client, unlike Grosskreutz, willingly gave prosecutors access to his mobile phone, because he had “nothing to hide.” And he added that prosecutors mysteriously failed to execute a search warrant for Huber’s skateboard, with which he hit Rittenhouse.

Several times, Richards also noted that the prosecution had failed to provide any evidence that Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist looking for trouble. Nothing. Nothing.” He noted that the jury would have to decide the verdict based on the evidence that had been presented in court, not what was presented to the media in a “rush to judgment” the year before.

Then-candidate Joe Biden had called Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” in September 2020, without evidence. Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked the White House to defend that claim on Monday; press secretary Jen Psaki could not defend the remark but said that the president remained generally opposed to “vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons.”

Richards also took on the lesser charges of reckless endangerment, saying that journalist Richie McGinniss, who was nearly wounded in the melée, had rushed toward the violence, and that Rittenhouse’s legitimate self-defense defeated the charges.

He attacked a key prosecution expert, James Armstrong, who blew up a still image from a video, leading prosecutors to claim that Rittenhouse had pointed a gun at Rosenbaum. “What he [Armstrong] did for those twenty hours is hocus pocus, and he makes an exhibit that is out of focus.” He noted that the prosecutor had claimed Kyle was pointing the rifle, which was geared for a right-handed user (such as Rittenhouse), with his left hand. And he cited the defense’s own forensic experts to argue that Rosenbaum had attempted to seize Rittenhouse’s rifle before the defendant had fired it in self-defense.

Law&Crime Network / YouTube

More than pointing out grounds for reasonable doubt, Richards said, the defense had told its own story, putting Rittenhouse on the stand to present his own first-hand testimony.

Richards closed by saying that while there were “no winners” in the case, Rittenhouse had defended himself within the law.

“Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle. One with a skateboard, one with his hands, one with his feet, and one with a gun.” The standard, he reminded the jury, was not whether Kyle was hurt, but whether he could have been hurt.

“My client does not have to take a beating from the hands of this mob, or the hands of Mr. Rosenbaum.”

Early on, prosecutor Thomas Binger objected to the claim by Richards that he had “lied” in his presentation. Judge Bruce Schroeder allowed the remark to stand, saying that it was part of the argument that the defense was allowed to make.

This is a developing story.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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