The murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t going well for the prosecution. Things got worse for the Thomas Binger Wednesday when Judge Bruce Schroeder had to stop proceedings because of something the prosecutor said.
Schroeder accused Binger of coming close to committing a “grave Constitutional violation” after attempting to use Rittenhouse’s invocation of the right to remain silent against him, the Daily Caller reported. The judge sent the jury out to reprimand Binger.
The prosecutor began a line of questioning about Rittenhouse’s lack of testimony prior to his time on the witness stand. “Since August 25th, 2020, this is the first time that you have told your story?” Binger asked Rittenhouse after he stated he shot Joseph Rosenbaum in self-defense.
The witness answered in the affirmative and Binger continued down the same line, asking Rittenhouse if he’d seen videos of the events. Rittenhouse said he had seen a selection but “a majority of them actually here during the trial.”
Binger doubled down, asking whether Rittenhouse had read what was written about the events that night including internet content. “I do my best to avoid what people write on the internet, a majority of it is not true,” Rittenhouse replied.
When Binger did not let up, Schroeder temporarily dismissed the jury and chastised Binger after defense attorney Mark Richards pointed out that he was trying to comment on Rittenhouse’s silence after his arrest. Binger claimed he was only trying to say that Rittenhouse was changing his testimony to fit the evidence.
“The problem is, this is a grave Constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence,” Schroeder said. “You’re right on the borderline and you may be over but it better stop,” the judge warned.
“I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post-arrest silence,” the judge also chided. “That’s basic law. It’s been basic law in this country for 40 years, 50 years. I have no idea why you would do something like that,” he said. “I don’t know what you’re up to,” Schroeder added. “Don’t get brazen with me,” he warned.
The case against Rittenhouse is weak as it is, and it seems Binger is becoming more desperate. The right to remain silent is sacred and cannot be used against a witness as an admission of guilt otherwise it would be useless — but Binger seemed intent on doing just that anyway.