Tensions boiled over in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial Wednesday afternoon as the presiding judge dismissed the jury twice to shout down the prosecution for courtroom conduct he deemed inappropriate and perhaps even unlawful.
The first quarrel broke out while Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger was cross-examining Rittenhouse.
During the cross-examination, Binger engaged in a line of questioning with the apparent intention of proving that Rittenhouse's testimony had been tainted by outside explanations for his actions on the night of Aug. 25, 2020. The prosecutor strangely stressed that though it has been more than a year since the incidents took place, Rittenhouse was only now offering public testimony for the first time.
The Illinois teenager has been charged with multiple counts of felony murder for fatally shooting two men and wounding another during Black Lives Matter riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. His legal team is arguing that his actions were taken in self-defense.
As the questioning escalated, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder abruptly dismissed the jury to have a chat with Binger, during which he reminded him that it is a "grave constitutional violation" for him to talk about Rittenhouse's right to remain silent, according to Newsweek.
"You're right on the borderline. You may be over. But it better stop," Schroeder warned the prosecutor before bringing the jury back into the courtroom.
Later, as Binger pressed Rittenhouse about his intentions in traveling to Kenosha armed with an AR-15 on the night of the incidents, Schroeder dismissed the jury a second time.
Binger had brought up an Aug. 10 incident during questioning that had reportedly been held open but with a bias toward exclusion in a pretrial order. The incident involves a video that shows Rittenhouse witnessing alleged shoplifters at a CVS drug store and saying if he had his gun he would "start shooting rounds" at them.
After the jury had left the room, things hit the fan. Defense attorney Mark Richards asked the court to strongly admonish the prosecution, adding that next time it happened, he would request "a mistrial with prejudice."
Tempers flare as prosecution questions Kyle Rittenhouse www.youtube.com
"Why would you think that that made it OK for you to bring this matter before the jury?" Schroeder pointedly asked Binger. "You should have come and asked for reconsideration!"
"I was astonished when you began his examination by commenting on the defendant's post-arrest silence. That's basic law. It's been basic law in this country for 40 years, 50 years. I have no idea why you would do something like that," he continued. "I don't know what you're up to."
Binger explained that he was trying to impeach Rittenhouse with his line of questioning by arguing the Aug. 10 incident was "identical to what was going on the night of Aug. 25."
Schroeder emphatically disagreed, saying, "I'm not going to rehash the motion! That's absolutely untrue." The judge later argued that nothing in the prosecution's case dictates that the defendant was "lying in wait to shoot at somebody."
When Binger coyly argued that the state of play had changed on Wednesday due to Rittenhouse's testimony, Schroeder shot back angrily.
"Don't get brazen with me!" he yelled loudly. "You know very well that an attorney can't go into these types of areas when the judge has already ruled, without asking outside the presence of the jury to do so. So don't give me that!"
"I said it couldn't come in and it isn't coming in, no matter what you think!" the judge concluded.
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Rittenhouse Judge SLAMS Biased Prosecution: Lays Down THE LAW! | Louder With Crowder youtu.be