Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorney Mark Richard slammed President Biden for calling the now jury-cleared 18-year-old a “white supremacist” and saying things “so incorrect and untrue” about his client on the campaign trail.
“I’ve never had a case, I don’t think I ever will, where within two days or three days of one another, you know, the President and the presidential candidate comment on it. And both of them had such different beliefs,” Richard said.
“President Biden said some things, I think are so incorrect and untrue — he is not a white supremacist. I’m glad that he at least respects the jury verdict.
Biden while saying “I stand by what the jury has concluded,” also said he is “angry and concerned” by the not guilty verdict on all counts tied to Rittenhouse shooting two men and injuring a third at a protest last year.
In a formal statement released by the White House, Biden said the verdict will “leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included,” adding that “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.”
During a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug. 25 of last year, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injured Gaige Grosskreutz. He was acquitted of all charges Friday, including homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment.
In September 2020, Biden’s Twitter account shared a video of then-President Donald Trump speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace during a presidential debate about “white supremacists” and violent acts committed by the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys across the country.
Wallace brought up the Kenosha shooting, comparing it to the other acts.
“Are you willing, tonight, to 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, as we saw in Kenosha, and as we’ve seen in Portland,” he asked.
While Trump said, “Sure I’m willing to do that,” he quickly added that “everything” he saw was coming from the left. Trump soon after told the Proud Boys to “Stand back and standby.”
“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’s tweet accompanying the video read.
When returning to the White House Friday afternoon after an unexpected annual physical at Walter Reed Medical Center, Biden supported the jury system despite his anger over it.
“Look, I stand by what the jury has concluded,” Biden told reporters. “The jury system works, and we have to abide by it.”
In his formal statement, the president noted that we cannot “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.”
Biden also said he was aware of how angry the verdict might make some — given the protests and riots that hit the streets in the past two years — urging Americans to “express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law.”
“Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy. The White House and Federal authorities have been in contact with Governor Evers’s office to prepare for any outcome in this case, and I have spoken with the Governor this afternoon and offered support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety.”
There have been calls for the president to apologize to Rittenhouse for comparing the then-17-year old to white supremacists.
“Joe Biden needs to publicly apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse,” Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted following the verdict.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also urged the commander-in-chief to apologize, calling his previous comments “dangerous and inflammatory.”
“Before he knew the facts, Biden prejudged the Rittenhouse case. He smeared a teenager to score political points and spread lies about this case,” she tweeted.
“What Biden did was dangerous and inflammatory. Biden needs to apologize and ACT NOW before the left uses his lies to fuel violence.”