A Well-Connected QAnon Guy Is Representing The Teen Who Shot, Killed Kenosha Protesters
Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen who illegally obtained firearms, then drove across state lines with those illegally obtained firearms to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he killed two people and injured one, did not appear at his extradition hearing this morning, saying that he needed time to assemble his legal team. A judge has agreed to give him a month to get that together before deciding whether or not to send him back to Wisconsin to face charges there.
On Thursday night, however, the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office charged him on five counts — "first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment."
If found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, he would get a mandatory life sentence.
On Twitter for the past few days, conservatives have been pushing the line that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, asserting without evidence that one of his victims, Joseph Rosenbaum, had thrown a Molotov cocktail at him.
Media: Kyle Rittenhouse drove to Wisconsin to murder people. (So he could be charged with 1st degree murder?) Truth… https://t.co/urs4qFposA— Jack Handey (@Jack Handey)1598466551.0
Now, sure! We could say that there was already proof that a Molotov cocktail had not been thrown at Rittenhouse, as that is the kind of thing that we would have seen on camera and that Rittenhouse would have suffered some kind of injury from, as Molotov cocktails are designed to explode on impact — but now even the police are saying that the thing that was thrown at Rittenhouse was in fact a plastic bag.
Via The Daily Beast:
According to a criminal complaint, obtained by The Daily Beast, Rittenhouse was walking down the road alongside a reporter at about 11:45 p.m. when a protester, Joseph Rosenbaum, approached and tried to "engage" the armed teen. Rittenhouse did a "juke" move and started running away, the reporter—identified as Richard McGinnis but apparently a reference to Daily Caller reporter Richie McGinniss—told investigators.
As Rittenhouse ran across a parking lot, Rosenbaum followed him and threw an object, according to videos reviewed by investigators. "The object does not hit [Rittenhouse] and a second video shows, based on where the object landed, that it was a plastic bag," the complaint says. "Rosenbaum appears to be unarmed for the duration of this video."
Moments later, videos captured a loud bang and a male shouting, "Fuck you!" Another four shots were heard and Rosenbaum was seen falling to the ground.
While we are not bomb experts here at Wonkette, you don't really need to be one to discern the difference between a Molotov cocktail ...
And a plastic bag that is, notably, not on fire.
One of the attorneys representing Rittenhouse at this time is Lin Wood, best known for representing Richard Jewell, the security guard who was falsely accused of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, in his libel and defamation suits. Since then, the former personal injury attorney has represented a number of famous clients in their libel and defamation suits — Jon Benet Ramsey's parents and brother, Gary Condit, Howard K. Stern (Anna Nicole Smith's attorney/domestic partner), Herman Cain, Nicholas Sandmann, etc., etc.
Wood told reporters on Thursday that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense.
"From my standpoint, it's important that the message be clear to other Americans who are attacked that there will be legal resources available in the event false charges are brought against them," he said. "Americans should never be deterred from exercising their right of self-defense."
To be fair, a plastic bag can be used as a murder weapon — though throwing it at someone probably would not do much unless it were a magic plastic bag that could fasten itself to the person's head, suffocating them.
Wood is also currently representing Dr. Simone Gold of the "America's Frontline Doctors" videos about how COVID-19 wasn't any kind of big deal, as well as Patty and Mark McCloskey, the mega-rich St. Louis gun couple, so there's that. It seems as though he's gone from being a relatively well-respected libel and defamation attorney to a personal injury attorney for the feelings of rightwing nuts who have made assholes out of themselves and are now sad about people making fun of them.
While Wood is currently acting as Rittenhouse's attorney, he is not a criminal defense attorney, and is thus working with Michelle Malkin of all people to help secure funds for his defense team. He asked that donations be made to his foundation, Fight Back, a 501(c)(4) non-profit advocacy group dedicated to preventing liberals from saying mean things about conservatives just because they say and do mean things. Those who previously attempted to raise money for Rittenhouse's defense through GoFundMe were told to GoFuckThemselves.
The #FightBack Foundation legal team is heading out to meet with Kyle & his family. Several great local & national… https://t.co/T7ZZdwv0eD— Lin Wood (@Lin Wood)1598559736.0
According to the fine print on the foundation's website:
#FightBack Foundation, Inc. ("#FightBack") is established to promote social welfare through advocacy for fair and just treatment of people and organizations with respect to their civil and constitutional rights, focusing on: (i) ensuring a basic degree of social order and representative republican government in American cities and states as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and federal law ; (ii) contesting surveillance abuse in violation of the United States Constitution and federal laws; (iii) contesting overuse or misuse of Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. Section 230) or similar statutes; (iv) protecting the reputation of those unfairly or falsely maligned; (v) protecting the reputation of individuals and institutions in the free exercise of their religious liberties and religious practices; and (vi) protecting basic human dignity by stopping human trafficking. In promoting these objectives, #FightBack will provide resources to aid people pursuing meritorious claims for damages in litigation relating to the foregoing goals, including damages from defamation actionable under the laws of the state having jurisdiction over the defamatory conduct, as well as defamation resulting from violations, overuse and/or misuse of Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act of 1996 by social media companies.
It's kind of weird how Lin just threw "human trafficking in there." Or it would be if he did not have #WWG1WGA in his Twitter bio. There is a certain irony in one of the most well known defamation lawyers in the country being in cahoots with a group that regularly goes around insisting that everyone they don't like is a cannibal/pedophile who eats actual babies for Satan.
Given that the narrative of Rittenhouse acting in self-defense that has been created by wingnuts who want it to be okay to go out and shoot protesters for funsies bears absolutely no resemblance to the actual facts of the case, Lin is going to have a hell of a time trying to pursue this from that angle. But, you know, he sure is welcome to try.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse