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LIVE: Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Day 1

LIVE: Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Day 1

Jury selection speeded to completion in a single day yesterday; today the trial itself begins with opening statements

Welcome back to the launch of our live coverage of the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, beginning today with the start of jury selection. Kyle is charged with a variety of felonies, including first-degree murder, for shooting three men, two fatally, as well as for alleged reckless conduct on the night of August 25, 2020, in riot-torn Kenosha WI.

Today begins the first day of the substantive trial, with the selection of a 20 person jury having been completed yesterday, and in a single day! You can see our analysis of the surprisingly speedy jury selection process in yesterday’s post, here: Kyle Rittenhouse Jury Selected – Trial Begins Tuesday. A detailing of the criminal charges and my plain English analysis of them can be found in last Sunday’s post:  Rittenhouse Trial: What to Expect As Trial Starts Monday.

With a jury seated, we expect today’s court proceedings to start out with the party’s opening statements–first, as usual, the opening statement of the state, followed by the opening statement of the defense.  In each case, the two sides will be laying out for the jury their own view of what transpired on the night of August 25, 2020, what drove Kyle Rittenhouse to shoot three men and otherwise conduct himself as he did that evening, and what each side intends to prove or disprove beyond a reasonable doubt  (or, for the defense, show that the state cannot prove or disprove beyond a reasonable doubt) over the course of the trial.

It is common in these kinds of politically energized prosecutions that are based on little if any evidence inconsistent with self-defense for the state opening to engage in a great deal of ambiguous but evil-sounding and largely evidence-free bluster and table-pounding, and the defense opening to be much more factually concrete–but we’ll certainly find out shortly.

Naturally, we’ll be live streaming the court proceedings, as well as providing real-time commenting and analysis from the moment the court comes into session until it recesses for the day, right here at Legal Insurrection, in this post.  You can find both the streaming video and the real-time commenting below.

After the court has recessed for the day, we’ll also be providing a detailed but plain English legal analysis of the day’s events, their likely impact, and legal consequences, and so forth, also right here at Legal Insurrection, in a separate “end-of-day” blog post.

With that said, make yourselves comfortable, and let’s get ready to rumble in State of Wisconsin v. Kyle Rittenhouse!




You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict.

Stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. Nothing in this content establishes an attorney-client relationship, nor confidentiality. If you are in immediate need of legal advice, retain a licensed, competent attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.


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It is common (snip) for the state opening to engage in a great deal of ambiguous but evil-sounding and largely evidence-free bluster and table-pounding


As always, TY Mr. Branca

If I had been Rittenhouse, McGinnis wouldn’t be complaining about almost getting shot, he would be full of holes because I would have considered him to be a deadly force threat.

This is ALL political show.

It should never have been taken to trial.

Half of this opening statement sounds like the prosecution making the self defense case on KR’s behalf.

Interesting. Today Jake Posobiec tweeted out:

“If you are following the Kyle Rittenhouse you are going to want to watch Human Events Daily this evening

We just obtained something that changes everything

And the state knew about this the entire time but said nothing”

It’s hard to imagine anything that we haven’t already seen that could affect the trial, unless we’re talking about them intentionally (and ILLEGALLY) withholding evidence from the defense.

Speculation is that they’ve gotten ahold of an office body cam video.

Seems odd that there’s no mention of McGinnis being a self described reporter put himself in harm’s way by chasing after Rosenbaum who he knew to be chasing Kyle who he knew to have a firearm.

    hail2skins in reply to Pollard. | November 2, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    McGinnis will be testifying on Kyle’s behalf. The defense alluded to it,. that they’ll be calling him as they suspect the state won’t. The state can’t really call him because McGinnis is very clear Rosenbaum was trying to take his gun. McGinnis is the least of Kyle’s problems.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | November 2, 2021 at 11:50 am

From another poster on another case:

“if the facts are on your side you pound the facts, if the law is on your side you pound the law, and if neither the facts nor law are on your side you pound the table—and we continue to see little but “pound the table” out of this prosecution so far.”

I tuned in half through the opening and thought it was the defense lawyer.

What’s the story with McGuiness and recklessness? Hadn’t heard that Kyle may have shot a round dangerously close to McGuiness. Is this a charge Kyle should worry about? There was some back-and-forth between judge and defense over the jury instruction for it apparently.

    The Packetman in reply to foospro86. | November 2, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    McGuinness mentions in an interview that he felt being struck in the leg but didn’t know if it was a bullet or ‘shrapnel’. In any case he was not badly injured (he was on Tim Pool’s show just a couple of days later).

      Chewbacca in reply to The Packetman. | November 2, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      Since there were other unknown people shooting there is zero possibility the prosecutor can determine that the supposed partial round that may or may not have struck McGuinness in the leg came from Rittenhouse.

Mr Branca, doesn’t hearing from Rosenbaum’s girlfriend and ‘hearing’ about skateboarder Huber potentially introduce character evidence?

Did the DA try to get a witness to change his statement?
“Binger asked him to change and add to his statement the identities of some of the people, but he didn’t know who they were at the time, so he refused. He didn’t want to lie. “We have no use for you!” Binger said. “We won’t put you on the stand, so Richards (Kyle’s Lawyer) will be, and he’ll be harder on you than we would!” With this, the meeting ended.”

Anyone know what he is referring to?

“If you are following the Kyle Rittenhouse you are going to want to watch Human Events Daily this evening

We just obtained something that changes everything

And the state knew about this the entire time but said nothing”

Sheeeeit Grosscreutz is such a snake.
He’s on record saying his only regret is not doming Kyle when his back was turned.

Matthew Carberry | November 2, 2021 at 1:42 pm

No idea what Posobiec is on about. All the click-bait “something HUGE is coming” posts from the alt-media crowd gets a little old, since the overall record is low on actual production of anything meaningful. Often it is simply retreaded information for low-information listeners who haven’t actually been following the case or story and can’t judge its worth.

Any more my base demand is “stop with the drama and just put up or shut up.”

    Yeah I’m pretty skeptical, and HUGELY suspicious that they magically got ahold of something right when the trial started.

    Feels to me like either they’re just full of crap and trying to play up nothing, or that they got something a while ago and were holding on to it for maximum exposure.

      Matthew Carberry in reply to Olinser. | November 2, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      If I understand a blurb I saw at lunch, it’s just the FBI thermal video we heard about last week at the evidentiary hearing and was shown in opening statements today.

      So, standard alt-media click bait BS to impress the rubes who aren’t paying attention. Rather than straight, competent reporting.

The actual evidence isn’t going to help the prosecution so they’re going to have to drum up outrage that Kyle was even in Kenosha.

I thought it was a huge moment when the defense pointed out that Grosskreutz lied to the police that he didn’t have a gun when Kyle shot him and that he was there trying to stop Huber (skateboard) from attacking Kyle. Can’t wait to see how Grosskreutz explains that on the stand.

    Olinser in reply to TheOldZombie. | November 2, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Honestly I would be kinda surprised if the prosecution calls him. Opening him up to cross-examination by the defense would… not be a smart move, IMO.

      TheOldZombie in reply to Olinser. | November 2, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      Be kinda weird that the only survivor wouldn’t be called to the stand. Especially if the police say he told them he didn’t have a gun when clearly in the videos and photos he did. He’s going to have to explain that somehow.

Rosenbaum and Ziminski hatched a plan for Ziminski to fire the shot into the air to distract Rittenhouse so Rosenbaum could attack, take the gun, and kill Rittenhouse.

Not getting too vested in what should be the obvious outcome.

Watching the evidence and the lawyering in Chauvin’s trial shows that a jury of supposed peers can convict a snowball for being guilty of causing global warming.

    broomhandle in reply to Andy. | November 2, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Well stated. Manipulation of every aspect of the judicial process is an art that has been taken to a new level.

Matthew Carberry | November 2, 2021 at 2:45 pm

Photo is from tiktok, handle is “4doorsmorewhores” and “Kyle”

Tag line, “bruh I’m just tryna be famous”

I know Kyle is only 17, but this is an object lesson as to why all the “badass” and “funny” stuff put on social media, signs on your house, graphics on your guns, are all counter-productive.

They have zero upside, and only potential down sides.

No idea what the states theory/hypothesis of this case is. The gun did it? Who knows?

    GregTCT in reply to Elzorro. | November 2, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    I’m trying to figure out what Binger’s trying to accomplish with his questioning of Black. I’m pulling a blank. None of what he’s getting Black to say hurts Kyle, so far as I can tell

      James B. Shearer in reply to GregTCT. | November 2, 2021 at 6:06 pm

      “… None of what he’s getting Black to say hurts Kyle, so far as I can tell”

      Well it appears to show that Kyle arranged to buy the gun illegally. Which brings up the question of why Kyle hasn’t been charged with that.

I read over at PJ Media that their court observer Victoria Taft is convinced that most of the jury gives the distinct impression that they think KR must be guilty of something. Anything. That his conduct that night, based apparently on the MFM could not possibly be legal. Her impression is based on juror comments. One obviously thinks KR was carrying a machine gun, since she blurted out, “Who needs a machine gun?” Another said she was scared to live so “close” to KR (the juror and defendant reside in different states) Another said she couldn’t be impartial since her family isn’t impartial.

The latter reminded me of a juror in the Chauvin case; he admitted he wanted to be on the jury to make history. And his uncle didn’t scrub his social media, and there this juror who swore up and down that he could be impartial was, wearing #BLM swag from head to toe. I was hoping KR’s defense team would do a deep dive into not only these jurors social media presence, but that of their families as well. And this juror can’t be impartial because her family isn’t impartial? And she was still seated.

The officers in the Freddie Gray case were acquitted but not by a jury. They chose a bench trial. I wonder others don’t go that route as well (after making sure they’re not getting a leftist political activist in a black robe as a judge). It seems to me based on what happened in Baltimore vs. what happened in Minneapolis and now Kenosha, I’d be leaning toward going that route.

I was wondering if that’s Mr. Branca’s impression as well.

    TheOldZombie in reply to Arminius. | November 2, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    In Wisconsin you can only have a bench trial if the state agrees with the defense to have it. I don’t see the state agreeing to it in this case since they’ve got to know their case is weak. This judge seems like he’d have no problem finding not guilty in favor of Rittenhouse.

      broomhandle in reply to TheOldZombie. | November 2, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Not so fast. Judge Cahill also started the Chauvin trial talking tough and taking no crap and look what he still allowed to transpire.

    foospro86 in reply to Arminius. | November 2, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Based on what I’ve heard of this judge, KR may have been safer going with a bench trial too.

Why is the judge even pretending there’s legitimacy to the gun charge?

(c) This section applies only to a person under 18 years of age who possesses or is armed with a rifle or a shotgun if the person is in violation of s. 941.28 or is not in compliance with ss. 29.304 and 29.593

29.304 only applies to 16 and under, so does 29.593. 941.28 is about sawed off shotguns / rifles. His barrel was the legal length

Why hasn’t this charge been thrown out?

Colonel Travis | November 2, 2021 at 4:04 pm

This prosecutor has no case.

Rittenhouse needs to be careful with his facial expressions when he’s within view of the jury. Smiling, laughing or looking like he thinks something is not serious can be damaging in the eyes of the jury.

Matthew Carberry | November 2, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Binger: Exhibit #30, shows you and others at 63rd Street Car Source. Wearing sling, holding gun to front of your body? Defendant sling holding gun in similar manner? Strong enough to hold weight of gun?
Binger: Sling strong enough to hold gun to body if someone tried to take gun?

This? This?! This is their huge “but, but, the ‘strap” angle?” That Kyle had no reasonable fear about losing the gun if people grabbed it?

“I call to the stand literally any law enforcement trainer of long gun tactics and use of force who ever walked the earth to refute.”

Prosecution has nothing.

In another article Victoria Taft cites Rittenhouse’s former defense attorney Robert Barnes. He was for reasons I can’t understand fired by Rittenhouse’s lead attorney. I hear that Barnes was supposed to be in the court room to help Richards and Chirafisi to help with jury selection. And he brought something like 20 attorneys who were supposedly jury selection experts to assist Barnes.

Instead Barnes and his team were fired just before jury selection. The timing is very suspicious to my eyes.

But Barnes is citing what must now be the results of his pre-trial labors. He did polling and found that 2/3 of the people in Kenosha believe KR is guilty as charged.

Moreover, Barnes had some very derogatory things to say about the prosecutor, Thomas Binger, who Barnes accuses of lying about KR for a solid year, apparently to ensure KR can’t get a fair trial, as Binger has no evidence. But prosecutors don’t bring cases just to lose them,. so if Binger has to smear KR to win he’ll do that. With a complicit MFM, Binger makes motions in court; such as saying in Wisconsin it’s illegal for an armed person to shoot an unarmed person.

As the above article notes, our own Andrew Branca said Binger had “gone off the rails” on that one.

But per Bramble, Binger isn’t just making oral arguments. He’s filing written motions making wild “off the rails” assertions that he knows will never make it past the judge in court. But these wild false claims will make it into the newspapers and on TV all over Wisconsin. So Binger can’t directly tell the jury that KR is a white supremacist, a “chaos tourist,” a member of the vilified proud boys, and that the three men he shot were innocent victims in court, since the judge isn’t allowing Binger to make obviously, demonstrably false statements.

But since the judge isn’t planning to sequester the jury they’ll just find out who “KR” really is from family, friends, and TV when Binger indirectly tells the public via all those DNC propagandists in media. How can they possibly remain impartial?

Again, if it were me I think I’d go with a bench trial and avoid a jury that’s drawn from a poisoned well.

    hail2skins in reply to Arminius. | November 2, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    I’m pretty sure Barnes is still Kyle’s attorney. Just not on the criminal side. He’s the civil side.

    Think38 in reply to Arminius. | November 2, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    How Barnes can talk about this is beyond me. This is all confidential information obtained in connection with representing a client.

Defense should have done a recross and asked Black if he would want to allow someone with ill intent to gain control of his rifle even if it was attached to him with a sling.

Binger: How many rounds did you and defendant fire with rifle in Lady Smith?
Black: I would say a lot, 100 or 200.

WTF? 200 is “a lot”?
Back when I was shooting for fun 200 was a good month

Zimmerman show trial redux. It is now a crime to kill sociopath thugs in defense of one’s self, whenever the vile Dhimmi-crats deem it politically advantageous to declare it so.

Watching a live feed from PBS now. The witness they have on the stand now doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the case. He’s a “social influencer” who got video well after the incident. If he has anything to do with this case it’s not apparent yet.

    Chewbacca in reply to Chewbacca. | November 2, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Correction: It appears he may have responded to the riots (he didn’t want to call them riots) after the Blake shooting. They’re taking a very long route to anything that is pertinent.

OT Maybe I missed it, but what’s happened with the Arbery case?

Rittenhouse jury will be hung.
4 jurors will hang it.
Might be convicted on minor gun charge but nothing else.