Amid a Biden-led "white supremacy" smear campaign, the lawyer representing Kyle Rittenhouse in a preliminary hearing argued that the Illinois teen shouldn’t be sent back to Wisconsin to face homicide charges, because "this is not a legitimate criminal prosecution; it is a political prosecution."
The 17-year-old alleged Kenosha gunman appeared virtually Friday from a Vernon Hills juvenile detention center before Judge Paul Novak, who sat on the bench at the Lake County’s main courthouse in Waukegan.
"It’s no secret that this is a very unique extraordinary situation. There is a massive amount of video evidence that shows that beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not a legitimate criminal prosecution; it is a political prosecution," attorney John Pierce said during the court hearing conducted via Zoom.
Pierce then stated that there are "serious issues" with the extradition paperwork that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off on "that in fact bolster the suggestion" the prosecution is influenced by the upcoming general election. "These papers were sent directly to the governor without us even getting a chance to look at them in the first instance without any notice," Pierce alleged.
According to a report written by the Chicago Sun-Times, Rittenhouse’s legal defense team argued that extraditing him to Wisconsin authorities would violate his constitutional rights and the legal technicalities required for extradition were breached, court records filed late Thursday cited.
"There’s no reason to rush," Pierce said of the proceedings. "There is danger to this detainee. There is a presidential candidate in the heat of arguably the most heated election, perhaps ever, certainly since 1860, that has inflamed the situation."
Pierce concluded: "And we simply ask that this detainee’s due process rights be observed so we can challenge this in a proper way and ensure that this is a legitimate criminal prosecution and not something else." Novak scheduled an additional hearing on the matter for Oct. 30.
Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killings of two Black Lives Matter protesters during the Jacob Blake riots in in Kenosha, Wisc., and the attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third man. The youth also faces a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession for wielding a semi-automatic rifle.
Last Wednesday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released a campaign advertisement against white supremacy. "There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night," the former Vice President captioned the 50-second viral video, just a day after the first presidential debate when he and moderator Chris Wallace cornered President Donald Trump to condemn right-wing militias.
In a cease and desist letter addressed to the Biden for President Legal Department, Rittenhouse's high-profile attorney, Lin Wood, wrote to "demand that Mr. Biden immediately retract and correct this defamatory impression."
A voiceover from the face-off segment—or as Wood described, "gross political rhetoric uttered by Mr. Biden"—overlayed a compilation of imagery depicting violence and disorder purportedly committed by "white supremacists." The clip then cut to the fateful night in Kenosha, landing on a still image of Rittenhouse with his rifle in-hand. Now the Democratic ticket is threatened by a libel lawsuit over his tactless conflation.
"The political use of this photo of a 17-year-old boy under attack—and it is undisputed that he only used his weapon in self-defense against multiple attackers—as a prop to advance Mr. Biden's long-denied political ambitions is reprehensible," Wood declared.
#FightBack Foundation, a free speech group that has raised over $2 million for Rittenhouse's legal fees, had posted footage that revealed the truth about Rittenhouse who traveled from his home state in August to protect businesses from looters, acting as a trained volunteer medic.
Tapes demonstrate that pro-police boy was hunted down by an enraged mob. All three shooting victims were slated with criminal histories: the first was a registered sex offender, the second was a serial domestic abuser, and the third slammed with a gun-related charge.