Rittenhouse Defense Team Calls for Mistrial with Prejudice Citing Prosecutorial Misconduct

by Debra Heine


The defense team in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse requested a mistrial with prejudice, arguing that Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger had acted in bad faith during the trial and engaged in prosecutorial misconduct.

When Binger told Kenosha Judge Bruce Schroeder that he had made his arguments in good faith, the judge said, “I don’t believe you.”

Schroeder told Rittenhouse’s attorneys that he would take their motion “under advisement.”

The judge had torn into the Binger earlier in the day, literally yelling at him over his line of questioning pertaining to Rittenhouse’s use of his AR-15. Before that, he admonished Binger for questioning the defendant’s post-arrest silence.

In a bold move, the defense team allowed Rittenhouse to take the stand Wednesday in his ongoing trial in Kenosha County court.

The 18-year-old is charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he and at least one friend said they traveled to the Wisconsin city from Illinois to protect local businesses and provide medical aid after two nights of businesses being looted and set on fire.

Rittenhouse’s attorneys have argued repeatedly that their client was acting in self-defense, and fired his semi-automatic rifle because he was being chased or faced with a gun.

The prosecution has tried to depict Rittenhouse as the person who instigated the events, including by emphasizing that he is the only person to have shot someone during the night of unrest.

While Binger was questioning Rittenhouse about an earlier incident with his gun, defense attorney Mark Richards objected, and threatened to ask for a mistrial with prejudice over Binger’s forbidden line of questioning.

Binger’s questions appeared to be related to a previous incident involving Rittenhouse that Schroeder had previously prohibited the prosecution from using.

According to Fox News, “Rittenhouse can allegedly be heard in a video saying he wished he had his AR-15 so he could fire rounds at people he believed were shoplifting.”

The judge told Binger that he should have come to the court before he went into this. “You should have come and asked!” he exclaimed angrily.

The prosecuting attorney argued that “the court had left the door open.”

“For me—not you!” Schroeder fired back.

Schroeder also lambasted Binger for  attempting to discredit Rittenhouse for exercising his 5th Amendment right to silence after the shootings.

“You are already— I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s—silence,” the judge thundered. “That’s basic law, it’s been basic law in this country for 40 to 50 years, I have no idea why you would do something like that!” He added,  “I don’t know what you’re up to!”

Binger replied that he believed the line of questioning was pertinent to what had happened during the night of the shootings.

The judge rejected the argument, and stood by his decision to not allow the prosecution to bring the matter up.

“Even if you’re correct in your assumption that you know more than I did at the time, you should have come to the court and said, ‘I want to go into this,’” he said.

“This trial has now officially gone too far for a second trial. This is THE trial. It would be unfair to the defendant to have a second trial when we are this close to a jury verdict.”

Rittenhouse had earlier broken down in sobs on the stand as he recalled how the events unfolded in the moments before he was forced to fire his weapon.

In response to defense attorney Mark Richards’ prodding, Rittenhouse described how a man named Joshua Ziminski stepped toward him with “a pistol in his hand.”

“And as I’m, as I’m walking towards to put out the fire, I drop the fire extinguisher and I, I take a step back,” he said.

When asked what he planned to do after stepping back from Ziminski, Rittenhouse responded: “My plan is to get out of that situation and go back … to where the Car Source lot number 2 was.”

Richards asked if he was able to make it back.

Rittenhouse answered that he was not.

“I take that step back I look over my shoulder and Mr. Rosenbaum, Mr. Rosebaum was now running from my right side and I was cornered from in front of me with Mr. Ziminski and there were … there were three people right there,” he said breaking down in tears as he relived the memory.

“That’s when I run …”

After Rittenhouse broke down, the judge called for a 10-minute break.

Livestream of day eight of the Rittenhouse trial below:

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Debra Heine reports for American Greatness.
Photo “Rittenhouse Defense Team” by Washington Post.




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