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‘Clown In A Suit’: Rittenhouse Prosecutor Mocked Over Closing Claim Against Self-Defense
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 15: Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger holds Kyle Rittenhouse's gun as he gives the state's closing argument in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 15, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)
Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

Critics slammed and lampooned the lead prosecutor in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial after the attorney claimed, in his closing arguments, that Rittenhouse’s rifle negated his right to self-defense.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger addressed the jury on Monday in closing arguments of Rittenhouse’s murder trial, making a last pitch to convince jurors that Rittenhouse was the aggressor on the night of August 25, 2020, and the two men Rittenhouse killed and the one he wounded were justly attempting to stop a mass shooter.

“You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun, when you’re the one creating the danger, when you’re the one provoking other people,” Binger claimed.

The comment was ridiculed over social media.

“‘Carrying a gun disqualifies you from using it,’ said the clown in a suit,” Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon remarked.

“News to police officers!” podcaster and media critic Stephen Miller tweeted.

Editor-in-chief of The Dispatch Jonah Goldberg said, “I’m not a Rittenhouse stan, but this is insane.”

The Dispatch’s senior editor David French added: “This is completely wrong as a matter of law. There are certainly circumstances where an unarmed man can charge an armed man and create a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm.”

Conservative Twitter pundit AG stated: “This is complete nonsense. Being armed does not mean you lose your right to self defense and does not in itself create danger.”

The Rittenhouse trial began with the 18-year-old facing six charges, five felonies and one misdemeanor. The judge in the case dismissed the misdemeanor charge, underage possession of a deadly firearm, on Monday over an exemption in the law that allows 17-year-olds to carry weapons that are not short-barreled.

Rittenhouse is still facing five felony charges for intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment.

The prosecution in the case has struggled over the past few days of trial. Last week, Binger was reprimanded multiple times by Judge Bruce Schroeder over two violations of court procedure, one of which risked violating Rittenhouse’s Fifth Amendment rights, according to the judge. As The Daily Wire reported:

Later on during Binger’s examination, the judge sent the jury out again after the prosecutor began to veer into a line of questioning that Binger did not approve with Schroeder beforehand, and that Schroeder had suggested he would forbid in pretrial hearings. The second infraction brought an explosion from the judge over the first, and Schroeder again ripped into Binger for potentially violating Rittenhouse’s rights protected under the Constitution.

“I was astonished when you began your 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! And it gives, well, I’ll leave it at that. So I don’t know what you’re up to,” Schroeder said.

“I have to be concerned that, with what Mr. Richards has said about the progress of the trial when you were way, well, I said you were close to or over the line on commenting on the defendant’s pretrial silence, which is a well-known rule,” the judge later added. “I am astonished that that would have been an issue. So I don’t want to have another issue for as long as this case continues. Is that clear?”

“It is,” Binger replied before the jury was again brought back to the courtroom.

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