Former President Donald Trump is speaking out about 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s Friday acquittal on charges including murder.
According to Fox News, Trump trumpeted the “not guilty” verdict handed down Friday and slammed prosecutors for bringing charges against the teen in the first place, saying it was a clear case of “prosecutorial misconduct.”
Rittenhouse claimed he was acting in self defense when he shot three men amid violent unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin late last summer, two fatally. On Friday, after several days of deliberating, the jury announced they agreed.
“It was prosecutorial misconduct in my opinion, and there’s plenty of it going on in this country right now,” Trump said of the Rittenhouse case Friday, according to Fox. “It was disgraceful.”
“Should have never been brought”
Trump spoke of the case both in a written statement released by his Save America PAC and later in an interview with Fox News.
“Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse for being found INNOCENT of all charges,” Trump wrote in the statement. “It’s called being found NOT GUILTY — And by the way, if that’s not self-defense, nothing is!”
Speaking on Fox’s The Ingraham Angle, the former president doubled down.
“I think that it was a great decision,” Trump said, according to Fox. “I was surprised it had to go this far. Somebody should have ended it earlier. Frankly, the case should have never been brought.”
“He would have been dead”
To bolster his argument that Rittenhouse acted in self defense, Trump pointed to testimony from Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot and wounded by the teen. At trial, Grosskreutz admitted Rittenhouse shot him in the bicep after Grosskreutz pointed his pistol at the teen, allegedly unintentionally.
“I think [Rittenhouse] would have been dead if he waited a quarter of a second when that gun was pointed at his head. That guy was going to pull that trigger,” Trump said Friday.
“Less than a second [later], he would have been dead. There would not have been a trial because they would not have tried the person who pulled the trigger,” the former president added. Later, he accused prosecutors in the case of dismissing the truth in order to secure a win in court.
“The prosecutors, what they did in order to try to win, instead of looking for justice they were just looking for a win. It was probably a political case to a large extent,” Trump said, according to Fox. “This is a young man should not have been prosecuted based on every ounce of evidence that you look at.”