Expert: Rittenhouse may have defamation case against Biden over tweet

Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man and there are those who believe the thing he wants most at this point is to just continue his life, but others have speculated he may choose to seek another form of justice: Repairing his reputation.

Throughout his ordeal, Rittenhouse, 18, was repeatedly characterized as a “racist” and “white supremacist” by left-wing commentators and journalists, though there has never been any evidence linking him to groups that espouse those views. What’s more, the prosecution did not introduce any evidence suggesting as much during his just-concluded trial, for which the jury found him innocent on five counts including murder and reckless endangerment.

That has left some to speculate that, when all the dust has settled and Rittenhouse fully understands and appreciates his new circumstances, he may choose at some point to go after those who so viciously attacked his character.

And that includes the president of the United States.

Attorney Todd McMurtry, who assisted former Covington Catholic High School student Nicolas Sandmann reach a settlement for defamation with CNN, believes that President Joe Biden could be similarly held accountable for a social media post on September 30, 2020, just over a month before he was elected.

“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,” Biden noted in his tweet.

The tweet contained a campaign ad for the Democratic nominee that contained various clips of violence along with audio from the debate in which moderator Chris Wallace was pressing then-President Donald Trump to condemn white supremacist violence “as we’ve seen in Kenosha and Portland.” A still photo of Rittenhouse carrying an AR-15 the night he shot and killed two men and wounded a third — we now know in self-defense — is included in the future president’s campaign ad.

“What you take from that tweet is that Kyle Rittenhouse was using his rifle and engaging in white supremacist misconduct so it’s actionable,” McMurtry said Friday in an interview with Fox News, hours after a Kenosha jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of his charges. “Not necessarily going to win, but it’s actionable.”

The attorney went on to point out that, at the time, Biden was merely a candidate and was not yet president, so he shouldn’t have any presidential or congressional immunity.

Just last week, Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle’s mother, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that she believes Biden mischaracterized her son as a white supremacist to gin up votes from the left.

“When I saw that I was shocked, I was angry. President Biden don’t know my son whatsoever, and he’s not a white supremacist,” she told Hannity. “He’s not a racist. And [Biden] did that for the votes. And I was so angry for a while at him and what he did to my son. He defamed him.”

Separately, civil rights attorney Leo Terrell told Fox News that Biden had no facts to justify his or his campaign’s remarks.

“Let me give Joe Biden advice: Be very careful what you say because you’re subject to a possible defamation lawsuit,” Terrell said following the verdict. “This was a statement that Joe Biden is going to have to pay for and justify.”

“I think Rittenhouse may be able to do the same thing when commentators on MSNBC say he’s a school shooter, a white supremacist, even a vigilante,” McMurtry said of potential lawsuits against media outlets. “Lots of media people said he was a murderer, and I think that’s actionable because that suggests that he committed a crime, and we now know that he didn’t.”

“When you just throw this stuff out there, you take risks,” the attorney added.

But, the question is, will Rittenhouse pursue any claims? Another notable attorney, Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, doesn’t think so.

“He’s satisfied with the verdict,” he told Newsmax on Friday. “He’s going to go on.”

Jon Dougherty


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