Closing Arguments Delivered In Kyle Rittenhouse Trial KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 15: Kyle Rittenhouse, center, makes his way to his seat at the beginning of the day 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) Pool / Pool
Sean Krajacic-Pool/Pool/Getty Images

News

Tuesday | November 16th, 2021

It’s Tuesday, November 16th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Draws To A Close

The Topline: Closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial took place Monday in a polarizing case that has dominated national headlines. 

Morning Wire On The Ground

Morning Wire’s Georgia Howe was in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, courthouse for closing arguments. 

Sean Krajacic-Pool/Pool/Getty Images

Prosecution

Throughout the trial, the prosecution has attempted to frame Rittenhouse as the initial aggressor, and paint those he shot as innocent protesters acting in self defense. Their legal argument is that Rittenhouse cannot claim self defense if he brought a gun to the protest.

In his final argument, lead prosecutor Thomas Binger claimed the men who pursued and were eventually shot by Kyle Rittenhouse were “heroes” for attempting to subdue Rittenhouse, out of alleged concern that he was an active shooter threat. 

Overall, the prosecution attempted to highlight Rittenhouse’s poor choices that evening, while downplaying the threat posed by the rioters who first went after him. 

Defense

While the overall defense was generally considered less methodical and slightly less clear in delivery than the prosecution, video evidence of the incidents cut strongly in the defense’s favor. The defense showed multiple videos which appeared to show rioters chasing after Rittenhouse and attempting to grab his gun. 

The jury begins deliberations at 9 a.m. today.

Photographer: Laurent Zabulon/Abaca/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

2) Vice President Harris Draws Heavy Criticism

The Topline: With President Joe Biden’s approval rating steadily declining, other members of his administration — such as Vice President Kamala Harris — are facing criticism as well. 

Biden And Harris

President Biden’s approval ratings have hit new lows — around 40% — and are predicted to keep dropping as he moves to the Left on policy. 

Now, Vice President Kamala Harris has come under heavy media scrutiny as well.

Harris has an approval rating of 28%, which is lower than many of her predecessors, and even lower than former President Donald Trump’s worst polling numbers at the end of his presidency – by 10 percentage points. 

The Media

On Sunday, CNN published an article about the vice president. According to sources, Harris is now being actively sidelined. Others said she’s ill-prepared for any future role she could take, while some said her staff have failed her to this point.

On Sunday evening, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to respond to the story, tweeting, “For anyone who needs to hear it. VP is not only a vital partner to POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country – from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband.”

The Big Picture

As the approval ratings of Democratic leaders continue to drop, according to the latest data, Republican congressional candidates are holding their largest lead in midterm voting preferences in the last 40 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls. 

Nick Ut/Contributor/Getty Images

3) Americans Disapprove of Biden’s Immigration Policies

The Topline: Following a year in which unprecedented numbers of illegal immigrants crossed the southern border, new polling shows Americans’ approval of President Joe Biden’s handling of immigration policy is at a record low. 

The Numbers

A Harvard poll found only 35% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the border – the lowest mark he receives on any policy issue. For context, during the summer months, 49 to 53% of Americans supported Biden’s immigration policies. 

Overall, there wasn’t a single policy issue where Biden was above 50% approval. 

The economy was at 40%, foreign affairs was at 39%, handling of crime was at 38% and only 36% of Americans say the country is on the right track. 

Remember: President Biden maintained a softer tone on immigration throughout his campaign, and essentially promised to loosen things at the border once he took office. 

The Harvard poll found 68% of voters want to see stricter immigration laws to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, while 65% say Biden’s policies have directly encouraged people to come to the U.S. illegally. 71% of Americans say those who cross the border illegally should be deported.

‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy Update

Under the Trump-era ‘Remain In Mexico’ policy, migrants who were detained at the border were sent back to Mexico while they waited for their court dates in the United States.

The Biden administration tried to rescind the order last month, but federal courts said they didn’t have the power to do so. But two weeks ago, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released a longer, more detailed memo saying the Biden administration would be making another attempt at rescinding the order. 

Public Opinion: In the Harvard poll, 67% of Americans said Biden was wrong to try and rescind the ‘Remain In Mexico’ policy.

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