(TMU) – The lawyer representing Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse plans to sue Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his campaign for libel after the nominee shared a video that suggested the 17-year-old accused murderer is a white supremacist.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Rittenhouse attorney Lin Wood announced that he intends to sue the former vice president and his campaign on behalf of his teenaged client, hours after Biden posted a 50-second video to Twitter.
The tweet, which had nearly 180,000 likes and over 76,000 retweets on Thursday afternoon, reads: “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.”
The message from Biden’s account is in reference to President Trump’s inability to distance himself from his white supremacist supporters, as evidenced by his response to a question during Tuesday night’s presidential debate about whether he would “condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities.”
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. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
Instead, Trump said “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” The Proud Boys are a group of nationalist extremists who describe themselves as “western chauvinists” and are known for their anti-Muslim, misogynistic, and racist rhetoric, as well as their frequent brawls with anti-fascist protesters.
In the video posted by the Biden campaign, Rittenhouse appears about 12 seconds into the video. Rittenhouse currently faces homicide and gun charges for shooting two protesters to death on Aug. 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after teaming up with a group of armed adult volunteers who came to the city to allegedly protect private property from demonstrators protesting the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys claim that their client feared death or bodily harm when he fired his AR-15 on demonstrators that night, killing two people and wounding another.
The Illinois teen is currently fighting to block his extradition to Wisconsin, where he would likely be denied bail while also being automatically considered an adult by the state’s criminal justice system.
While Rittenhouse doesn’t have any demonstrable ties to organized hate groups – beyond the ad-hoc militia he joined after falsely claiming he was an adult and an EMT – police supporters and far-right commentators have sought to depict Rittenhouse as a heroic figure who was acting in self-defense against protesters.
A channel on social media platform Telegram run by the Proud Boys has also published a video featuring images and video celebrating Rittenhouse while the song “A Real Hero” from the 2011 film Drive plays in the background. Trump has also defended the accused killer.
The glorification of the militant police supporter has also boosted donations to his legal defense by over half a million dollars on Christian crowdfunding GiveSendGo.com, while his mother was given a standing ovation at a Republican event in Wisconsin last week.
Wood tweeted several times about his intention to sue the Democratic candidate.
“He falsely accused a 17-year old boy & prejudiced Kyle’s legal rights,” he wrote in one of his tweets.
Formal demand for public retraction is being prepared for Biden/Harris Campaign on behalf of Kyle Rittenhouse.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) September 30, 2020
Wood later said the two additional attorneys were recruited to his team to help “in pursuing libel case for Kyle Rittenhouse against Joe Biden & his campaign.”
“No need to turn up hearing aide, Joe,” he wrote. “You can easily hear footsteps of army for justice coming to visit you.”
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