Following the not guilty verdict reached by the Kyle Rittenhouse trial jury Friday afternoon, defense attorney Mark Richards blasted President Joe Biden for claiming that his 18-year-old client is a "white supremacist."
"I've never had a case—I don't think I ever will—where within two days or three days of one another, you know, the president and the presidential candidate comment on it. And both of them had such different beliefs," Richards said.
"President Biden said some things, I think are so incorrect and untrue — he is not a white supremacist. I'm glad that he at least respects the jury verdict," he said.
Biden called Rittenhouse a white supremacist following a presidential debate question in 2020, in which Fox News host Chris Wallace asked former President Donald Trump to condemn white supremacists and militia groups.
"Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha, and as we've seen in Portland," he asked.
As a response, Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand back and standby."
"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," Biden said in a tweet, which was accompanied by a video that displayed images of Rittenhouse and those that attended the fatal Unite the Right rally in 2017.
Responding to the Rittenhouse verdict, Biden wrote in a formal statement, "While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken."
"I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law," Biden's press statement on the Rittenhouse case's outcome continued. "Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy."
Returning to the White House on Friday afternoon after an annual physical and colonoscopy, Biden told reporters, "Look, I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works, and we have to abide by it."
"To say that we were relieved would be a gross misunderstatement," Richards also said of the acquittal, while speaking to the media after the trial ended. "Kyle is not here. He's on his way home. He wants to get on with his life."
Richards noted that Rittenhouse's legal defense team and the teen are "happy that the jury took the time to put in an incredible amount of effort," noting: "There were times we doubted the case. There were times we were confident."
The defense lawyer added that "we're thankful in more ways than one that the jury finally got to hear the true story. When I say the media [...] the story that came out from the beginning was not the true story. That was something that we had to work to overcome in court, and we think we did that."
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