The trial this week of Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with homicide for the killing of two unarmed men during the unrest after police shot Jacob Blake in the back, is arguably one of the most polarizing the country has seen in recent times.
Many on the left see Rittenhouse as a killer, many on the right see him as a “patriot” who was engaged in self defense. Judge Bruce Schroeder will decide Rittenhouse’s fate – and if he’s a killer or a self-defending patriot.
Schroeder’s behavior has been the subject of a good deal of outrage as he – on live TV – repeatedly berated the prosecutor Wednesday. Some legal experts indicate his anger at the state’s attorney might be justified, but at the very least most seem to agree it should not have been done in public.
Wednesday afternoon many were stunned when Judge Schroeder’s phone went off in the middle of the trial.
LISTEN: Judge Bruce Schroeder’s phone loudly goes off during the homicide trial for Kyle Rittenhouse. pic.twitter.com/ZqJPdf7g2o
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) November 10, 2021
Schroeder quickly grabbed it and angrily turned the ringer off, but as several noted, his ringtone is the same song Donald Trump used as his theme song at his MAGA rallies, known to some as “Proud to be an American,” officially “God Bless the U.S.A.”
There’s nothing wrong with the song itself, but given how Trump himself has repeatedly “endorsed” Rittenhouse, even traveling visiting Kenosha, the scene of the killings, some are expressing concern.
Civil rights attorney Timothy Welbeck, the Director of the Center for Anti-Racism Research, and an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University, called it “outrageous.”
“This is outrageous,” he tweeted in response to a video of Judge Schroeder’s phone ringing. “Aside from the obnoxious disruption it causes (I’ve seen judges threaten defendants and witnesses with jail time when their cell phones rang during court proceedings), it further reveals Judge Schroeder’s potential for bias in this matter and related ones.”
Last summer at a White House press briefing Trump told reporters his thoughts about Rittenhouse: “You saw the same tape as I saw, and he was trying to get away from them.”
“I guess it looks like and he fell and then they very violently attacked him and it was something we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation,” Trump said, as CNBC reported August 31, 2020. “I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed. But it’s under investigation.”
One day earlier The New York Times reported “the president even ‘liked’ a tweet that offered support for Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Trump supporter who has been charged with homicide after two demonstrators were shot to death in Kenosha, Wis. ‘Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump,’ the tweet said.”
Former Republican and former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, now a Democrat, was among the first to identify the song:
Judge Schroeder’s phone rings in the middle of the Rittenhouse trial, and it just happens to be the theme song from the Trump rallies when he walks on stage. Go figure. pic.twitter.com/3LE44QwNkB
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) November 10, 2021
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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert
“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”
CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”
Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”
With breakthrough for Georgia DA (@TamarHallerman reporting: “SCOTT HALL has become the first co-defendant in the Fulton election interference case to take a plea deal with prosecutors.”)
That spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell.
Example of alleged joint actions.👇 pic.twitter.com/odMM5C7JtX
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 29, 2023
See the graphic above or at this link.
Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report
With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.
“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.
NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”
“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”
A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.
‘Wannabe Dictator’: Milley Appears to Slam Trump After Ex-President Suggested He Should Be Executed
General Mark Milley, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisor to the President, during his retirement speech Friday appeared to deliver strong criticism of former President Donald Trump, who appointed him to that post but since has waged war against him.
“Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous, not just because it is the exact sort that incites violence against public officials,” professor of global politics and political scientist Brian Klass wrote at The Atlantic after Trump’s most recent attack on the Chairman, “but also because it shows just how numb the country has grown toward threats more typical of broken, authoritarian regimes.”
Trump had written, “if the Fake News reporting is correct,” General Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”
Milley was acting within his duties in a White House approved conversation, according to Klass.
On Friday, Milley appeared to blast Trump.
“We don’t take an oath to a tribe. We don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king, or queen, or a tyrant, or dictator. We don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator,” Milley declared. “We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.”
“Every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Guardian and Coast Guardsmen, each of us, emits our very life to protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price to a country.”
Vanity Fair on Thursday reported General Milley “said he has taken security precautions to protect himself and his family after Donald Trump all but called for his execution last week.”
Watch Milley’s remarks below or at this link.
🚨🚨🚨Wow, outgoing CJS Chair Milley hits Trump at retirement ceremony: “We don’t take an oath to a king, or queen, or a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator …we take an oath to the Constitution … and we’re willing to die to protect it”. pic.twitter.com/AH2eQObge4
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) September 29, 2023
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