The attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse — the 17-year-old facing murder charges for killing two people and wounding a third during Black Lives Matter riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month — is formally demanding that the Biden campaign retract an accusation that his client is a “white supremacist.”
What are the details?
In a tweet posted Wednesday morning, the attorney, Lin Wood, warned that he is preparing a formal demand for public retraction in response to a post on former Vice President Joe Biden’s Twitter account.
“Formal demand for public retraction is being prepared for Biden/Harris Campaign on behalf of Kyle Rittenhouse,” he wrote. “I also hereby demand that [Joe Biden] immediately retract his false accusation that Kyle is a white supremacist & militia member responsible for violence in Kenosha.”
Wood’s tweet included a screenshot from a Biden campaign video, in which the Democratic challenger asserted: “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 Biden video focuses on a segment from the first 2020 presidential debate in which moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump to condemn white supremacists and militia groups. As the remarks are played, images of supposed white supremacist gatherings flash across the screen. At the 13-second mark, a picture of Rittenhouse is displayed.
During the exchange, Trump and Biden squabbled over whether right-wing or left-wing groups are primarily responsible for the violence taking place in many cities across the country.
What’s the background?
Rittenhouse is currently being tried as an adult on multiple counts of felony murder. If convicted, the charges would carry a mandatory life sentence.
But his legal defense team has argued that their client acted in self-defense on the night of Aug. 25.
Video of the incident does appear to show that Rittenhouse was being chased before firing his weapon, and a New York Times analysis discovered that Rittenhouse did not fire the first shot.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued that video shows he tried to render medical aid to Joseph Rosenbaum and even called authorities to report the incident, before fleeing the scene “for his safety and his survival.”
Then, they said in a statement, “another attacker struck Kyle from behind as he fled down the street. Kyle turned as the mob pressed in on him and he fell to the ground. One attacker kicked Kyle on the ground while he was on the ground. Yet another bashed him over the head with a skateboard. Several rioters tried to disarm Kyle. In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or even use his own weapon against him, Kyle had no choice but to fire multiple rounds towards his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed attacker.”
A video reportedly produced by #FightBack, an organization raising funds for the Rittenhouse’s legal defense, attempted to demonstrate Rittenhouse’s innocence.