Tucker: Actions like this threaten America’s judicial system
‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host makes the case for why Kyle Rittenhouse is not receiving a fair trial
The judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has just sent the jurors home for the night to think about the trial for yet another day. So far, deliberations, in this case, have lasted about 20 hours. In a normal proceeding, we’d have the jury’s decision in about 20 minutes. The essential question, in this case, is really clear did Kyle Rittenhouse have good reason to believe dangerous men were trying to murder him? And the answer is also clear and unequivocal? Yes, he did. These people were definitely trying to murder Kyle Rittenhouse.
So Rittenhouse’s response to that threat was the definition of self-defense. Desperate split-second decisions made in the face of unwanted aggression in an attempt to save his own life. That’s what happened. Every person who testified at the trial on both sides confirmed that no honest person doubts it.
So Kyle Rittenhouse never should have been charged in the first place. And yet he was, and the reason he was is very simple. From the beginning, this case was driven by politics, and ever since it’s been tainted by government deception and incompetence. For example, we’re just learning now relevant new evidence in the case. Really? This is evidence the jury should have seen before it began deliberation, obviously on the basis supposedly of all known facts. So this is to say this is not how our legal system is supposed to work.
Here’s what we’ve learned. One of the charges that Kyle Rittenhouse faces is a felony count for recklessly endangering the safety of a man who until today had never been identified. Video footage from the night of August 25th shows a man kicking Kyle Rittenhouse in the face and knocking him down. Rittenhouse responds by firing his rifle twice, and both times he missed. Tonight, the jury is considering whether Rittenhouse acted recklessly when he fired those two shots. And yet, and here’s the point. The jury has no idea as it deliberates who this man is because the prosecution never identified him. Prosecutors claimed they didn’t know his identity, and they had no way to find it out.
So that means that Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys never got to cross-examine this man or introduce any evidence about his behavior that night. That’s not a small thing. According to the Daily Mail, New reporting today, that man’s name is Maurice Freeland. Freeland has admitted that he attacked Rittenhouse moments before another man, a domestic abuser called Anthony Huber, started bashing Rittenhouse in the head with a skateboard.
So who is Maurice Freeland? Well, according to the Daily Mail, he’s a career criminal. He has opened charges for domestic abuse, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. In one case, a woman reported to authorities that Freeland quote threw her to the ground and kicked her in her lower right rib cage. So what we learn here, among other things, is that every single person Kyle Rittenhouse shot or shot at on August 25th in Kenosha had a lengthy and violent criminal record. Well, that seems relevant, but the jury doesn’t know it. Thanks to unethical behavior by the prosecution, Maurice Freeland never had to testify in court. And yet, apparently, Freeland told prosecutors that he wanted immunity before he would agree to appear on the stand. The assistant district attorney in the case, Thomas Binger, refused to provide that.
That means the state knew all along exactly who Maurice Freeland was but they withheld that information from Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyers. And as a result of that, Kyle Rittenhouse was deprived of his constitutional right under the confrontation clause to challenge the accuser in open court. That’s not supposed to happen, it can’t happen, and that’s not the only relative evidence that was withheld from Kyle Rittenhouse’ lawyers during this trial.
We aired some drone footage on the night of August 31st, 2020. At the time, we were interviewing a lawyer called John Pierce, who was then representing Kyle Rittenhouse.
That drone footage that aired on this show has become part of the Rittenhouse case. Prosecutors claim that footage shows Kyle Rittenhouse raising his rifle in a provocative manner at an accused arsonist called Joshua Ziminsky. The footage doesn’t actually show that if you look at it carefully, but that’s what they’re claiming anyway. The prosecution’s theory of the case is that Joseph Rosenbaum, the child rapist, began chasing Kyle Rittenhouse after Rittenhouse pointed his rifle at Ziminsky. So apparently the pedophile was defending the honor of the accused rapist. That’s their claim.
Conveniently for the state, however, Joshua Ziminsky, like Maurice Freeland, never testified in this case. Why? Because prosecutors made sure he couldn’t. Prosecutors charged Ziminsky with arson and then delayed his trial so he would not be available to testify and the Rittenhouse trial. By the way, and this is relevant too, authorities say the Minsky brought a gun to the riot and fired a shot before Kyle Rittenhouse ever pulled his own trigger. How’s that for relevant? But jurors never got to hear Joshua Ziminsky explain that.
So here’s the problem. The drone footage we aired on this show was never provided to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense team. Instead, they got a blurrier, lower-grade copy of the tape. One is a high-quality image, the other is a low-quality image. There’s no comparison between the two. The defense had no way to analyze the high-quality footage during the trial and provide it to their video experts. They couldn’t verify that the footage is accurate or make any arguments about what it shows. They just had to accept the prosecution’s version. Now, the defense only realized this after one of the prosecutors admitted it out loud, apparently by accident. He admitted that his version of the drone footage was, quote much clearer than the footage the defense had.
BINGER: [pointing to the video] This is the same quality as our version? KRAUS: No BINGER: Yeah KRAUS: Our version is much clearer.
According to one of Rittenhouse’s lawyers, the defense copy of the drone footage was nearly three times less clear than what the prosecutors had.
Defense Attorney Natalie Wisco: I confirmed that this file that he said (pointing to Binger) was directly provided to the state crime lab was an 11 MB file, not 4. So the information contained in the flash drive was over double the size almost three times the size that was emailed to me. // Every other piece of evidence from the states lab in this situation has been provided to us via Dropbox. Dropbox provides an exact forensic copy of what they have. The file title name in this situation should have been exactly the same as the one provided to the state if it was the exact same copy. The file name was nowhere near similar.
So how to account for this? Well, the prosecutors explained they just got this footage at the last minute a few days ago. They said they immediately sent it to the fence and they had no idea the defense would get such a low-quality copy. It was a technical glitch, they said. But that doesn’t really make sense, actually, and the judge seemed to understand that. He asked why the prosecution waited more than a year to get this footage.
KRAUS: The defendant’s first attorney – after he was charged with this case – appeared on a interview alongside the high-definition version of this footage. // JUDGE SCHRODER: If you know Tucker Carlson’s got it, you could have subpoenaed it, no? KRAUS: We didn’t know that until today. BINGER: No we knew it.
It doesn’t matter what the explanation is, there’s no excuse for this in a criminal trial. The prosecution has a legal obligation to obtain evidence in a timely manner and then provide the defense The moment it’s available, that’s the law. In this case, the prosecution waited until after the trial began to give the defense a low-quality version of the drone footage. So you have to ask, is this deliberate prosecutorial misconduct and actually, as a legal matter, it doesn’t matter. Kyle Rittenhouse is constitutionally entitled to see all the evidence against him at the trial, and he didn’t.
So by definition, Kyle Rittenhouse is not getting a fair trial, by the way. Outside the courtroom as well as inside. yesterday as hundreds of National Guard troops idled nearby, a fight broke out between protesters within earshot of jurors. Today, we learned that a freelancer for MSNBC followed the jurors‘ bus to the courtroom. He blew through a red light to keep up with the bus. Now, why would a “journalist” follow jurors before they’ve reached their verdict? Well, the judge seemed to understand exactly what was going on. This morning, he banned anyone associated with MSNBC from the courthouse.
SCHROEDER: The police when they stopped him because he was following at a distance of about a block and went through a red light, pulled him over inquired of him of what was going on, gave that information. And stated that he had been instructed by Ms. Byon in New York to follow the jury bus. // I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial.
Now, you don’t have to like Kyle Rittenhouse or what he did to see this as scary and wrong and a threat to all of us doesn’t matter who you voted for, it does matter what you thought of Donald Trump. That’s irrelevant. Withholding evidence in a criminal trial. Intimidating jurors. These things threaten not just Kyle Rittenhouse. They threaten America’s system of impartial justice, which, by the way, is the best thing we still have in this country.
So what’s interesting is who has no problem at all with any of this, and we can’t help but notice that the very same people who love pointless foreign wars and devastating drone attacks on civilian populations think that Kyle Rittenhouse should rot in prison. Now watch this guest on CNN, one of the silliest, dumbest people in public life, explained that actually, Rittenhouse’s attempts to save his own life at a Biden rally filled with violent criminals was, quote, political violence.
Max Boot: I mean, I think we’re in a frightening situation, Don, because I think what we’re seeing is growing political violence. You have Kyle Rittenhouse on trial right now for taking the law into his own hands and shooting several people. Remember, you had mass shootings during the Trump presidency at a Walmart in El Paso, at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. You had the storming of the Capitol with people who had gallows with them on January 6. And Republicans are really playing with fire.
So you got to wonder if people who talk like that and there are an awful lot of them all of a sudden believe what they say on television. Did they watch the trial? Do they understand the facts? Do they even care what really happened that night in Kenosha? And we like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even Max Boot. But honestly, we’re starting to wonder.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the November 18, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
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