Politics - News Analysis
Kyle Rittenhouse Not Out of Woods Yet: Could Face Federal Charges as Dem Rep Calls for DOJ Review
He was not happy with the way things turned out in Wisconsin.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the cast of characters in Congress, but there are a select few who stand out in our minds. One leading role belongs to Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who oversaw the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Nadler has been one of the most progressive “mainstream” Democrats in Congress during his 15 terms in Washington. So when the verdict came down in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, his view was somewhat of a departure from that of other establishment politicians.
Calling the verdict “heartbreaking,” Nadler posted a tweet calling for a Department of Justice review of the trial. It’s unclear what the outcome of such a review could result in; the Fifth Amendment prohibits another trial for Rittenhouse on the same charges.
But Nadler was stern on Friday afternoon:
This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest. https://t.co/Uh95Uc1Ddo
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) November 19, 2021
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That was at the crux of the dissent over this verdict — whether the fact that Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha with a g*n directly into a situation that he himself called “dangerous” should preclude him from claiming self-defense.
Ultimately, the jury found Rittenhouse not guilty. But the sentiment among many Americans mirrors Rep. Nadler’s. It’s a bit of a departure from the message that came out of the White House following the ruling, although President Biden has since clarified his stance:
While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.
I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law.
Let’s hope that, whatever the outcome of an investigation may be, the Department of Justice takes up Mr. Nadler’s request.