Rittenhouse Prosecution Hoodwinks the Jury Over the Testimony of Their Own Witnesses

Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool

The prosecution has been presenting its closing argument today, and it’s been a festival of false and misleading information.

As we reported earlier, one of the most problematic things was that the prosecutor, ADA Thomas Binger, falsely claimed that you lose the right to self-defense when you bring a gun.

This is just flat-out wrong under the law. If it were true, then you could never have a self-defense case, no one who has a gun could ever claim self-defense. And perhaps that’s the aim here — to impugn the right to self-defense with a gun in general. Binger also told them you can’t claim self-defense if the person is unarmed. That’s also untrue.

Why did he say that? He’s trying to make an argument that Rittenhouse provoked the situation, which would then enable him to argue that that self-defense goes away, as we previously reported. But that doesn’t mean that he gets to misstate the law and hoodwink the jury with remarks that are simply not legally true.

But those weren’t the only falsehoods that the prosecution told. Check out this festival of bull from the prosecution’s bullet points for the jury.

It claims that Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man shot and killed, didn’t threaten Rittenhouse or try to take his gun. The prosecutor claimed Rittenhouse fired before Rosenbaum got close.

But Rosenbaum did threaten to kill Rittenhouse, according to the testimony of Ryan Balch, and obviously, did want his gun, which is why he grabbed for it, per witness Richie McGinniss. Those were Binger’s own witnesses who testified to it. So, not only is he not telling the truth but he’s contradicting his own witnesses. Not a good look.

Then there was this hot take. According to Binger, Rittenhouse should have stayed around and helped Rosenbaum and apparently, let the crowd kill him, rather than running away.

How did that work out when folks caught up to him? Gaige Grosskreutz pointed a gun at his head, and Anthony Huber hit him in the head with a skateboard. The “crowd” was the threat to Rittenhouse — that was the problem. Had he stayed around and/or not defended himself, he had every reason to believe they would come after him as Rosenbaum did.

Apparently the crowd is allowed to be “provoked,” but Rittenhouse isn’t. They’re “provoked” by the act of him having a gun and defending himself, Binger argues. But according to this logic, he isn’t allowed to defend himself if they attack him, he has to just allow himself to be attacked.

Binger painted the the people shot as “heroes,” even claiming that Huber gave his life to save others. Leaving out the all-important point that Huber chased someone, not knowing what the facts were, and then attacked Rittenhouse in the head with a skateboard.

Meanwhile, he mocked Rittenhouse effort to try to help people.

We’ll have to see what the defense’s closing argument is, but it’s troubling to think that the jury has not had these falsehoods countered so far and that they might be taken in by this.