The Latest Developments in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

9 Nov 2021

BUCK: Kyle Rittenhouse trial is going on up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I’m speaking to friends of mine who are covering it at the trial and try to get as much information as I possibly can about what’s going on day to day there. But I want to take a step back for a second, remind everybody that when prosecutors — when the law enforcement arms of the government and particularly prosecutors’ offices — are taking public whim not just into account but actually placing it above the passions of the mob above the law, we are in a whole lot of trouble as a society.

How many people were severely — let’s just point this out, severely — prosecuted for their roles in months of rioting in this done that did involve fatalities? There were people that were shot and killed during those riots. There were stores burned to the ground. There was a tremendous amount of damage and theft and anarchy and mayhem in communities that are still trying to recover from that.

Was there a major law enforcement focus on punishing these who were involved or is that just considered an expression of rage from the oppressed or whatever the case may be? Now we have Kyle Rittenhouse, who decided to try to defend… That was why he showed up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to defend a community that was under siege from BLM rioters. This is all very real, what’s happened.

You see the buildings burning on footage. You can see stores looted and destroyed, and he was attacked during that process. There is video of this. In fact, yesterday was a Kenosha detective, Ben Antaramian, admitting that Kyle Rittenhouse, in fact, only shot people who were chasing and trying to assault him. This is gonna be a moment where you realize, “Hold on a second. If this isn’t self defense, what would be considered self-defense?” Play it.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY COREY CHIRAFISI: You saw the video where the person runs up to Mr. Rittenhouse, and then steps back, right?

DETECTIVE BEN ANTARAMIAN: Yes, I’ve seen that. Correct.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY COREY CHIRAFISI: And, not shot fired.

DETECTIVE BEN ANTARAMIAN: Correct.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY COREY CHIRAFISI: You saw other people that were kind of — it wasn’t a two- or three-person chase, there were multiple people kind of around Mr. Rittenhouse, some of them brandishing weapons, correct?

DETECTIVE BEN ANTARAMIAN: There were people — and there were people that were armed, absolutely.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY COREY CHIRAFISI: And those people who didn’t attack him — he didn’t fire at them, did he?

DETECTIVE BEN ANTARAMIAN: Correct.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY COREY CHIRAFISI: The only people that he fired at were people that had either kicked him, hit him with something, or pulled a gun on him when he’s running down Sheridan Road, right?

DETECTIVE BEN ANTARAMIAN: I would agree with that statement.

BUCK: Clay, we know… You don’t even have to be a lawyer. I know you are a lawyer, but you don’t have to be a lawyer just to understand the basics of self-defense and natural law on this one, which is” If someone is attacking you as part of a mob and you have a firearm, you have a God-given right to use that firearm in defense of your person.

CLAY: Look, there are all different sorts of angles of this case that have been discussed in the media. It’s possible that we’re going to be discussing Kyle Rittenhouse as someone who also was innocent because of self-defense in the same way that we talk about other people who’ve gone into a court of law and managed to be vindicated in that court of law because of the facts.

Yesterday we played you the only surviving person who was shot admitted on the witnessed that he was pointing a gun at Rittenhouse when Rittenhouse shot him. And now there’s video of the guys that were shot armed, chasing him. And ultimately the bigger story here, to me, even than what’s going on in the case is the fact that so many people in the media immediately convicted this kid because they wanted him to be a representative sample of white racism. That’s really what this was, right?

BUCK: It’s not only, Clay, and yet that’s an essential point. And it’s not only that the media wanted to create a perception. There were all these news stories — I’m looking at some of them right now — about “Kyle Rittenhouse: White vigilante,” “Kyle Rittenhouse, white militia member,” “Kyle,” all of these things, a “white nationalist.” All complete… That’s all fabrication.

There’s no evidence just like there wasn’t any evidence for any of those claims that he was like a part of some militia or that he was aces part of some racist effort to overthrow the government, all these crazy things that were said. But it’s actually even worse than that. On the one hand, you have the media trying to try this in the court of public opinion and taint the jury pool against him.

But we know that happens all the time. That’s not new. What’s a little different here was that there was a concerted effort by the left-wing media to out anybody who tried to support him with funding and donations, and there was an effort to ban — in fact, I believe discover block donations to a site. This was on Fox Business back in… I’ll get the date when I can.

CLAY: Big corporations stood up to disallow people to donate for him to have a lawful defense.

BUCK: You were not allowed to donate to the Kyle Rittenhouse defense fund. There were companies that weighed in and said, “Sorry, we’re going to block that cash. You’re not allow you to use these platforms.” At some point, folks, you start to see, this is frightening for all of us, because the presumption of innocence is something that we believe in not just as a legal principle but there should be something beyond that where you should at least get your day in court and you should be able to raise money for your defense.

CLAY: ‘Cause the best lawyer makes the best defense, and this is the talking the difference between a Michael Jordan-level lawyer and a high school basketball-level lawyer is substantial, and that exists in the legal profession. And, Buck, remember I recall, didn’t they have media members showing up at people’s houses who had donated any money at all to Rittenhouse’s legal defense, confronting them and asking them, “How dare you give” I don’t know “$30 or $50 or a hundred dollars to this 17-year-old kid, the legal defense fund?” That was going on too.

BUCK: This was all meant to intimate anybody from being able to say, “Hold on a second. I think Kyle Rittenhouse engaged in self-defense.” Now, we’ve already talked about this. I wouldn’t… Clay and I talked about it and some people may disagree. If a friend of mine had said, “I’m going to take my lawfully owned firearm and go try get in the middle of these riots in Kenosha,” I would have advised against it.

CLAY: If one of my boys had tried to do it, Buck, I would have said, “The hell you will. You’re not gonna get out in the street armed with a gun because of what might transpire.”

BUCK: But the legal question?

CLAY: But that doesn’t make you guilty.

BUCK: Right. The legal question here is not: “Should Kyle Rittenhouse have been in Kenosha trying to help his community?” And, by the way, I know people listening who feel like it’s heroic that he was trying to defend the community. That’s also a valid point of view. I’m just saying, I would not have advised somebody to do this because I know…

Look, there’s the same reason why there’s a lot of right-wing folks these days even in places like New York City where they have these horrible assaults that are caught on video and all these guys will come in and say, “Oh, if that guy had assaulted that person in front of me I would step in there.” I appreciate that sentiment. But understand something.

If you step in and the district attorney wades in on the case and an individual — I don’t know — maybe individual that you step in against happens to say that you, “Oh, maybe you said a racial slur of some kind or maybe…?” You know, all of a sudden the politics can turn against you very quickly in these situations. So it’s not just about being brave. It’s also about being wise.

CLAY: Well, not only that, regardless of what side of the equation my kid wanted to be involved in, I wouldn’t want one of my kids — and I think about it in a kid context ’cause this kid is still a minor. He’s 17 years old at the time this is going on. I got a 13-year-old boy, about to turn 14. I wouldn’t want my kid out in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, protesting in favor of Black Lives Matter trying to protect businesses, being involved in any way in the chaotic scene that was taking place that night.

But being there isn’t a crime. What he is being charged with is, I believe, based on the evidence that I’ve seen — and we want to make it clear, we do a live radio show, so we’re not sitting in the courtroom watching every minute of this trial. And people very often react to one- or two-minute clips and segments. But based on everything I have read, the facts would lead me to believe that this kid has a very valid self-defense claim that should, I believe, work based on fact that I’ve seen.

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