After watching the performance of Thomas Binger and James Kraus, it’s tough to contradict Kyle Rittenhouse’s assessment of his prosecutors. Not only did they bring charges in a situation where self-defense was clearly apparent, their own witnesses established its elements, even on direct examination. In desperation, Binger and Kraus engaged in prosecutorial misconduct in at least one discovery violation, but Binger added another by attempting to make Rittenhouse’s reliance on the right to remain silent evidence of guilt. That was a constitutional violation that any first-year law student would know to avoid.
Either Binger and Kraus are hopelessly incompetent or corrupted the process for their own political ends. YMMV, but Rittenhouse tells Tucker Carlson which way he’s betting. And a few other people as well:
Rittenhouse edges up to a point that Andy McCarthy and I discussed last week. Defense attorneys have a duty solely to their client, but district attorneys have a duty to provide justice for all sides, including defendants. They are required to review charges to ensure they are valid and that they can establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before trying a defendant. In fact, courts rely on good-faith presentations from prosecutors that they have such a case before seating a jury.
In this case, however, Binger’s own witnesses made it clear that there was plenty of room for a reasonable inference of self-defense. Under direct examination, the prosecution established through Richie McGinnis that Joseph Rosenbaum had twice threatened to kill Rittenhouse and then “lunged” for Rittenhouse’s rifle after chasing him, which prompted the first shooting. The video evidence introduced by prosecutors showed Anthony Huber bludgeoning Rittenhouse with a skateboard to the head — twice — before getting shot. And under cross-examination during the state’s case, Gaige Grosskreutz not only admitted that he’d lied to police about matters material to the case, but also that Rittenhouse didn’t shoot him until Grosskreutz pointed his pistol at him. This too was all on video entered by the prosecution. Even the weapons charge didn’t apply, as Binger himself acknowledged when asking Judge Bruce Schroeder to stretch its meaning to keep that charge in place.
All of this should have been known by prosecutors before they presented their case or even filed charges against Rittenhouse. So why did they charge Rittenhouse with murder at all? Again, the two options are either incompetence or corrupt motive. It’s not difficult at all to conclude that prosecutors wanted a scalp for their own political purposes, and that Rittenhouse fit that bill, if not any other.
Rittenhouse now has his opportunity to push back, and it turns out to be a very popular idea:
Tucker Carlson’s exclusive prime time Fox News interview with Kyle Rittenhouse scored big in the ratings Monday night as the show attracted over 5 million total viewers.
To put that in context, Tucker Carlson Tonight’s prime time competitors Anderson Cooper 360 and All in With Chris Hayes attracted only 792,000 and 1.2 million total viewers — respectively.
In the key 25-54 demographic, Tucker reached 913,000 viewers, while Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes reached 193,000 and 159,000 respectively.
Tucker Carlson usually wins that time slot handily anyway, but getting six times the size of CNN’s audience is pretty notable. Worth noting, too: Carlson almost doubled his Monday lead-in from Fox News Primetime of 2.664 million viewers, while Cooper and Hayes barely moved the needle at all from theirs.
Binger and Kraus are in for a public beating, at least for a while. And they deserve it.