Today's deep question: Are prosecutors *trying* to tank Rittenhouse trial?

It’s tough to imagine how prosecutors in Wisconsin could do worse in their attempt to convict Kyle Rittenhouse of murder. Last week, prosecutors went out of their way to bolster Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense in the shooting of three rioters, two of whom died from their wounds. Today, prosecutors brought the surviving witness to the stand, only to watch him change his story and admit that he drew his pistol on Rittenhouse before the defendant fired at him.

Townhall’s Julio Rosas covers the trial in person and watched the cross-examination. Afterward, Julio reported on Twitter that he “knew this was going to be a bad day for the prosecution,” but “holy f*** was that bad for them.” That might be an understatement:

We have that moment on video:

Andrew Branca has more in his live-blog of the trial at Legal Insurrection. Suffice it to say that Grosskreutz’ credibility as a witness is not holding up well. At all. Here’s an example in the cross-examination (Chirafisi is Rittenhouse’s attorney):

Chirafisi: You agree it says here, on this statement, that it says your Glock fell of your waist?

Yes.

That’s a lie, right?

No.

You had it in your hand.

Yes.

But not a lie?

Not a lie.

Last week, prosecutors ended up helping to establish the elements of self-defense through the direct testimony of their own witnesses. This time it came in on cross-examination, but it still raises the same questions. If Grosskreutz pulled a weapon on Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse fired — and after Rittenhouse had been chased and physically attacked — then a reasonable person would conclude that their life was in danger. Furthermore, Rittenhouse had tried to disengage by retreating before resorting to lethal force in defense of his life, but Grosskreutz and the other two rioters had pursued and assaulted Rittenhouse. These laws vary from state to state, but it’s impossible to see how this doesn’t qualify as self-defense.

Now, this question can be for a jury to determine, but one has to wonder why prosecutors let it get that far in the first place. Didn’t they depose their own witnesses? Didn’t they check their claims against the available video and photographic evidence? Thus far the prosecution looks either massively incompetent or politically motivated. Or both.

It’s not going to get any better when the defense begins its case, Julio notes:

That’s … not a good sign for the prosecution. One has to wonder whether the trial will actually get that far, however. Given that the prosecution has established the necessary elements for self-defense, the routine motion for dismissal at the end of the state’s case seems much more likely to succeed, or perhaps a motion for a directed verdict of acquittal.

If this was a fight, the refs would stop it at this point. The judge might soon get a chance to do just that.

Update: This is a good time to remind everyone how we can put Julio in places like Kenosha to cover these stories:

Please join up!

Also, I can’t pass this one up …

Update: Julio’s report for Townhall is up now, so be sure to catch up to the latest.