OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Many Democrats were furious when Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges in his murder trial, but not every member of the party marched to the same drummer.
Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was one who spoke in defense of the verdict on Twitter, saying that the jury made the correct decision.
“The jury got it right — finding Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges. The fact that charges were brought before any serious investigation is evidence that the government was motivated by politics, which itself should be considered criminal,” she said.
The jury got it right—finding Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges. The fact that charges were brought before any serious investigation is evidence that the government was motivated by politics, which itself should be considered criminal.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) November 19, 2021
Gabbard previously chastised the media and “Antifa-loving politicians” who she said called Rittenhouse “a white supremacist terrorist.”
“With no evidence, MSM & antifa-loving politicians immediately labeled Rittenhouse a white supremacist terrorist. It’s obvious now that he was just a foolish kid who felt he needed to protect people & the community from rioters & arsonists because the government failed to do so,” she said in a tweet with a video of her talking about the case.
“It’s obvious now that he was just a foolish kid who felt he needed to protect people & the community from rioters & arsonists because the government failed to do so,” she said in the video.
President Joe Biden was one of the politicians who insinuated Rittenhouse was a white supremacist after a debate with Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential campaign.
“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,” he said with a photo of Rittenhouse in a video package.
Gabbard was one of the only Democrats who thought the jury made the correct decision. New York Rep. Jerry Nadler wants the feds to investigate the verdict.
“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,” he said in a tweet.
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
In order for Rittenhouse to face federal charges, there are several complicated factors that could make it unlikely for federal prosecutors to pursue a case.
For most homicide cases, federal law typically only applies in crimes that specifically violate federal law. According to Shouse Law Group, a criminal justice team in Los Angeles, the crime of murder “is prosecuted in state courts as a state crime. But murder becomes a federal crime when it occurs in violation of federal law, or when it takes place on a federal land or territory.”
“The federal crime of murder is defined as the ‘unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.’ In general, there are seven scenarios when an unlawful killing violates the laws of the federal government,” it said.
The Law Group said that federal charges can come when:
- the murder is of a federal judge or a federal law enforcement official
- the killing is of an immediate family member of a federal law enforcement official
- the murder is of an elected or appointed federal official
- the killing is committed during a bank robbery
- the killing takes place aboard a ship at sea that is engaged in interstate commerce per the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution
- the murder was designed to influence a court case
- the killing takes place on federal property
He was joined by President Joe Biden who also expressed dismay with the verdict.
“I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it,” he said to reporters at the White House.
But after some time, he issued an official statement in which he described himself as “angry” at the verdict.
“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,” he said.
“I urge everyone 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,” he said.