Rittenhouse Trial Delves Into if Clearer Video Was Withheld From Defense

Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP

As we reported earlier, the jury in the Rittenhouse trial had questions about being able to review video evidence.

That prompted a discussion of the drone video, which was part of a motion of mistrial with prejudice made by the defense. The defense argued that they hadn’t gotten a clearer, higher definition version of the drone video until Saturday, after the close of evidence. They argued in their motion to the court that the prosecution had sent them a compressed version and withheld the clearer version.

Their position was that constituted withholding evidence and prosecutorial misconduct. This was in addition to the prior points they had made about the prosecutor improperly talking negatively about Rittenhouse’s silence, impugning his constitutional right to remain silent and trying to get in evidence that the judge had already ruled against.

That jury question then led into a discussion of the motion point about the withholding of the evidence.

The prosecution argued that they had nothing to do with the compression and don’t know what occurred.

The defense, on the other hand, said that the video sent on Nov. 5 — the compressed and unclear video — had different tags and metadata than the video they were given by the State on Saturday. They pointed out how one was created 21 minutes later than the other. They argued that showed they were different versions and that, therefore, the prosecution had withheld that clearer evidence to which they were entitled. The defense said they became aware of the difference on Friday and brought up that the prosecution mentioned that their version was clearer while viewing the video in the courtroom that day. They said if they had had the clearer file, they would have made other arguments in their case.

But the prosecution today claimed there was no different copy. The “Miss Wisco” referred to on the video is one of the defense team, Natalie Wisco.

The prosecution further claimed that the defense must have had the high definition copy, because a prior defense attorney John Pierce had gone on Tucker Carlson’s show and, the prosecution argued, Fox played the higher definition video.

At a certain point, the defense said they were making a motion for a mistrial without prejudice. They had previously moved for one with prejudice – meaning the prosecution couldn’t bring the case back. But now they were saying that if the court was disinclined to rule in favor of the with prejudice motion — and we don’t know that yet — if he would grant it without prejudice.

Now, that’s one element as to the motion. There are still other arguments within the motion, so even if the judge didn’t find in favor of the defense on this particular argument, they could on the other arguments. As we said before, if the jury acquits, then all of this is moot.

We’ll keep you apprised as things continue to break.