Return to Transcripts main page
Jury Finds Kyle Rittenhouse Not Guilty; House Democrats Pass Build Back Better Act. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired November 19, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Two turkeys will be pardoned a bit later today by President Biden.
Those turkeys are named Peanut Butter and Jelly. The birds spent last night at the Willard Hotel here in Washington, D.C. They will move to the Rose Garden this afternoon, where justice and maybe a little pumpkin pie will be served during the ceremony.
Later, these two turkeys raised in Indiana will head home, new home, Purdue University.
Thanks for joining us on INSIDE POLITICS today. We will see you back here on Monday. Have a fantastic weekend.
Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello, and thanks for joining us on this Friday. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
After months of division and dysfunction, House Democrats come together and deliver a major victory to the White House. Erupting in cheers, the House now sends the president's Build Back Better Act over to the Senate.
That's where the new fight begins. With no room for even a single defection, some moderate Democrats are already grousing.
Let's go to Capitol Hill and CNN's Lauren Fox.
Lauren, there is a lot of work ahead, isn't there?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right, Ana.
Obviously, this celebration in the House may be short-lived as this legislation heads to the U.S. Senate, where all eyes are on Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the moderate Democrat who has already expressed deep concerns about pieces of this bill, including one part of the bill which was for four weeks of paid family leave.
That is something that he says he supports in theory, but he does not want to use just a Democratic Senate majority to pass it. Instead, he says that is some kind of legislation that should be passed with Republican and Democratic votes.
Obviously, this large social safety net bill that is headed to the U.S. Senate is not going to get any Republican votes. So the question becomes, in what ways will this bill be changed? I talked to one progressive House member, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who told me that, look, it's not just Joe Manchin who may want to make changes to this legislation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It's not just Joe Manchin that wants to see some changes to this bill. I think that Senator Sanders wants to see some changes on this bill. I think he wants to cut some of the taxes, tax cuts on the rich.
I think we need to open up a path to citizenship on the Senate side. So I think that certain changes on the Senate side can also be positive, in addition to a guarding the bill from substantive changes that would prevent us from tackling climate change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that he wants to bring this bill to the floor before the holiday recess in mid- December.
However, whether or not Joe Manchin will be ready to vote yes by then, another question entirely -- Ana.
CABRERA: Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill, thank you.
So what does a $1.9 trillion bill of your money buy?
CNN's Tom Foreman walks us through it.
Tom, remind us what all is in this plan.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We can't go over all of it, that's for sure, because it is huge. But here's some of the highlights.
Clean energy and climate change here, $570 billion. In terms of how it might affect you at home, if you put on solar panels, if you get an electric car, there could be additional tax incentives for doing that.
Beyond that, there's child care and preschool, early education, a big priority for the Biden administration, child tax and Earned Income Tax Credits. This is aimed at middle-class families who are out there struggling to make ends meet. This can give them a break along the way, so they're not having such a hard time paying their bills.
Beyond that, there's home care. This is aimed at the disabled, older Americans, which are growing and growing in numbers and, frankly, are growing huge numbers out in red America, aid to people out there who might be struggling, affordable housing, some sort of aid there.
And then beyond that, if you look at -- there are premium subsidies here for the Affordable Care Act, for immigration reform. And this is an interesting one, Medicare, hearing. They wanted to include dental and other things, but this is for hearing; 30 percent of the people over 70 who probably need a hearing aid, only 30 percent have ever had one.
That's aimed at trying to close that gap a little bit. And, frankly, when you put it all together, there's a lot in here that people will want to hear about, no matter what their political basis is, and a lot of it that will probably sound good to many of them on -- Ana.
CABRERA: OK, Tom Foreman, thank you so much.
We have breaking news we got to get to right now out of...
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: In Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
Let's listen in.
JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: Yes, you folks can be seated. It may be a few minutes while we...
SCHROEDER: No, there's no standing room. No, there's no standing room.
Any of the other judges are welcome. That's the only exception.
By the way...
CABRERA: OK, we are awaiting a verdict right now in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial.
And we're -- my understanding is we're waiting for the jury to come into the room to deliver this verdict.
Let me go live to Kenosha, Wisconsin, right now and our Shimon Prokupecz, who has been covering this trial over the past couple of weeks or so.
Shimon, describe for us what we're watching exactly right now.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So, you see on your monitor there that's the defense attorneys. And, obviously, you see the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse there.
And then you see the judge. I think what's going on in part, there's an -- as you can imagine, an immense increase of security around the courthouse, so this could be what the holdup is.
I was in the courthouse moments ago, and I could see just all of a sudden all of the sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, some other law enforcement officials starting to gather. They were talking to the families of some of the victims who've been coming to court every day, working out some logistics with them.
And then, in the back, usually, where the -- from the second floor, where the -- where Kyle Rittenhouse comes down from and his attorneys, I could see them coming down. So then you sort of got the sense that something was going on.
So I don't know why it's taking so long to get the jury downstairs, because, usually, they come down from the second floor to the first floor.
The judge is are talking here, I think.
CABRERA: Let's listen in, Shimon.
SCHROEDER: No, it doesn't need to be.
There can't be any reaction at all, no matter how strongly you may feel, and it's understood that many people do have strong feelings, but we can't permit any kind of a reaction to the verdict.
And, as you can see, there's quite a bit of enforcement here. And you will be whisked out of here if there is any.
So, just be aware.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?
SCHROEDER: Would you come down, please?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SCHROEDER: Thank you.
All right, members of the jury, have you elected a foreperson?
Would you give juror number, please?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifty-four.
And has the jury reached a verdict as to each count of the information?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we have, Your Honor.
SCHROEDER: And one verdict and one verdict only?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. SCHROEDER: Would you hand all the paperwork to the bailiff, please?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the ones that we didn't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
SCHROEDER: Yes, thanks.
May I see that too, please, Mrs...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I'm sorry.
SCHROEDER: (OFF-MIKE) Thank you.
The defendant will rise and face the jury and hearken to its verdicts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Wisconsin vs. Kyle Rittenhouse, as to the first count of the information, Joseph Rosenbaum, we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, not guilty.
As to the second count of the information, Richard McGinniss, we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, not guilty.
As to the third count of the information, unknown male, we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse not guilty. As to the fourth count of the information, Anthony Huber, we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, not guilty.
As to the fifth count of the information, Gaige Grosskreutz, we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, not guilty.
SCHROEDER: Members of the jury, are these your unanimous verdicts? Is there anyone who does not agree with the verdicts as read?
Would you wish the jury polled?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
OK, folks, your job is done. And we started just about three weeks ago. And I told you it could last two weeks and two days. This is three weeks. You were a wonderful jury to work with. You were punctual. You were attentive.
And the forgotten six over here who have a very difficult job of keeping from discussing the case during the time that they were sequestered as well, all of you, you just -- I couldn't have asked for a better jury to work with.
And it has truly been my pleasure. I think, without commenting on your verdict, the verdicts themselves, just in terms of your -- the attentiveness and the cooperation that you gave to us, justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you. [13:15:15]
So, I dismiss you at this time. You're never under any obligation to discuss any aspect of this case with anyone. You're welcome to do so as little or as much as you want.
The media have requested -- a number of media sources have requested the ability to talk to you, and they have been allowed to present presentations to you that you will get in writing. And it's entirely up to you whether you want to contact them. They are not to contact you.
If anyone does contact you, just tell them you're not interested in discussing it, if that's the case. And if anyone persists in doing so, report that to us, and it will be addressed, I assure you.
At the beginning of the trial there was some concern about information and your safety. And I assure you that we will take every measure to ensure that that is -- your concerns are addressed and respected.
And I'm going to talk to you for just a minute, not about anything to do with the case, but just about that sole issue. And you -- as I say, you're welcome to discuss the case as little or as much as you want.
And any questions, anybody? Thank you so much.
And you're -- after four years, you're eligible for service again.
SCHROEDER: It would be my pleasure to work with you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (OFF-MIKE)
SCHROEDER: I -- yes, please, or in the library. They can -- in the library. It's not going to be more than a minute, or maybe it will be.
Yes, take them upstairs. That's fine. That's fine.
CABRERA: You have been watching as we have learned live the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, not guilty on all charges, after about 25 hours of deliberation through the course of four days.
I'm going to bring in our legal analysts from the state to talk about this verdict now.
I want to start with our senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, former federal and state prosecutor.
Elie, your reaction to this.
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Ana, this is our justice system at work.
Ultimately, our justice system comes down to 12 people, 12 strangers...
CABRERA: Elie, hold on one second. Forgive me. Let's listen back in one more time.
SCHROEDER: Anything else?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. (OFF-MIKE)
SCHROEDER: Thank you. Good day.
CABRERA: Elie, please continue.
HONIG: ... facts and further detail on the instructions, which is the law.
It's also important to keep in mind, the law in Wisconsin is very favorable to a defendant claiming self-defense. The prosecution has to affirmatively disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury went back there and had some reasonable doubt, then they were to return a not guilty verdict.
And that, it appears, is what they have done. Finally, Ana, one more important note. This is over. The prosecution cannot appeal. A not guilty verdict is final. So this will be the end of the state prosecution of Kyle Rittenhouse.
CABRERA: OK, we also have Charles Coleman, a civil rights attorney, and Bob Bianchi, a criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor as well, with us.
Bob, your reaction to what we just witnessed, and, again, the verdict being unanimous on all five counts, not guilty?
ROBERT BIANCHI, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Honestly, it was not surprising to me.
This case was charged within a couple of days, before they had the autopsies done, before they had completed the evidence collection, before they had gone through all the videos and the interviews. And at one point on the show that I host, I was actually listening to a witness and I was asking the producer, is this a defense witness that was called at a turn, to find out it was the third victim, Grosskreutz, in the case.
Because multiple witnesses for the state were actually providing the self-defense testimony that Rittenhouse had actually testified to himself. So it was a very, in my opinion, strong self-defense case, especially given the fact that he was being chased, that he had rocks thrown at him, gunshots going off, he was kicked in the head, hit with a skateboard.
And the prosecution's theory of the case, as a former homicide prosecutor who has tried lots of homicide cases, lots of self-defense cases, is that he merely provoked the incident because he came there with the AR-15.
But you got to remember you're in a jurisdiction where this is not an unusual thing. If you were in Jersey or New York and you saw something like this, it would be crazy, but it's not there. So the theory of the government's case to me went too quick, too fast.
I have investigated homicide cases far, far, far less complex that took weeks and months for us to finish our investigation. And I think the defense attorney's statement to the jury that this was a rush to judgment and that the actual prosecution witnesses supported the self- defense claim of Rittenhouse resonated with them.
CABRERA: So you clearly are not surprised by the verdict here.
I want to go live to Sara Sidner, who is standing outside the courthouse.
Sara, if you can hear me, it's Ana. We're live right now.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I can.
CABRERA: What are you seeing as far as reaction there to this not guilty verdict on all charges, all counts?
SIDNER: As each charge was called out and each not guilty was spelled out by the court clerk, I looked over to the family of Kyle Rittenhouse.
And, at the very last one, his mother gasped. It sounded like one of those reliefs -- relief gasps. Her hands into -- her head fell into her hands, and she appeared to be crying.
The verdict, obviously, not guilty for her son means he is a free man at 18 years old after being charged in a double homicide case with five different charges. And, of course, the prosecution cannot retry this case. That would be double jeopardy. It means that he can go about his life.
As for the others in the court, there were family members of those who were shot by Rittenhouse as well. We expect to hear from them. And on the steps of the court, as has been for every single day of this trial, the uncle of Jacob Blake, Justin Blake, has been standing there. And there have been crowds of people, up to about two dozen people on any specific day.
They are clearly and visibly unhappy with this verdict. But it is the verdict that this jury saw fit. We learned a lot of things in this trial that we should sort of go over. And I was just kind of reviewing some of the things that we learned in the trial that were not necessarily public knowledge before that.
One, there has been a lot of talk, especially by politicians, about where Rittenhouse was the night of this shooting. And it turned out he was already in Kenosha, that he had family here, including his father, that the gun was here in Kenosha. He did not bring that over state lines. It turned out during this trial that we learned that the gun that he
had a hold of, he actually could legally possess, according to the judge, and according to the law here, because of the measurements of the gun. Had it been shorter and a short-barreled gun, then it would have been illegal.
But because it wasn't, the judge said that that needed to be thrown out. And, indeed, that charge of a minor in possession of a gun illegally was thrown out in this case, the jury only looking at those who were injured, those who are endangered and those who were killed the night in August that Rittenhouse ended up shooting people.
We also learned that he was working here that night, that he had stayed over that night here. And we saw some video of, for example, Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person that he shot and killed. We saw drone video, high-resolution drone video, that did not come into this case until five days into this trial.
And that is under contention. There was a mistrial requested because of both what the defense called prosecutorial overreach and they said they were going to file about this video that appeared very late in the game, the high-resolution version of it.
But now none of that matters. They're certainly not going to ask for a mistrial after their client has been acquitted in this case. But we did learn a lot of things from that video because it was very clear what was going on. There was a video of Rosenbaum chasing after Kyle Rittenhouse during this time when he had his gun.
And at one point Rittenhouse levels his gun at Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum continues towards him. And as he gets close to Kyle Rittenhouse, Kyle Rittenhouse fires his gun several times. We learned also in the trial that he was hit four times. And, obviously, this is an AR-style rifle that has the capability of firing very quickly.
But we have also learned that, in this case, we saw one of -- the only person who was shot and did not die that night from Kyle Rittenhouse's gun. And we heard from Gaige Grosskreutz. And that -- this was a pivotal moment in the trial, hearing from the one defendant who was shot, but survived Kyle Rittenhouse shooting at him.
And he said that -- when asked whether or not Kyle Rittenhouse shot at him when his hands were up, he said no. And then he was asked by the defense, did you point your gun at Kyle Rittenhouse, and then he said shot you? And he said, correct.
That was a big moment for the jury, for sure, because that could be self-defense. And that indeed is what the jury.
When you go through each one. Anthony Huber, who was who was also shot before Grosskreutz, he had a skateboard. And he attempted and you can see on the video hitting Kyle Rittenhouse. Now, the prosecution has maintained that they said that the people that chased after Kyle Rittenhouse after he killed Joseph Rosenbaum were simply doing so because they thought they had a mass shooter on their hands and were trying to stop him.
But the jury clearly thought that, in this case, after Kyle Rittenhouse tripped and fell and turned his gun and people started coming at him, that he was only defending his own life or from great bodily harm. And that is what they have decided.
Of course, this case has a lot of tentacles. It is not just what is going on inside of that court. This has been a political football, if you will. It has been -- the right has looked at Kyle Rittenhouse this whole time as a hero. The left often or the far left has looked at Kyle Rittenhouse as a devil.
And it has just gone back and forth. If you look at any -- anything online, you will see for and against. And it is pretty clear that people are sticking to their side. But they were not in this court. And many folks did not watch this trial. We did. We were in court watching every second of it. And the jury looked at all of the evidence.
We know they looked at it hard because this is the fourth day of deliberations. They have deliberated more than 24 hours over the past four days. And so they looked at everything. They rewatched the videos.
And, really, when people talk about the star witness in the case, the star witness in this case or the star evidence in this case was the video. The video could be watched as many times as they wanted to watch it. The public could watch the video if they liked.
And so it seems that, in this case, yes, Gaige Grosskreutz was an important witness, but the video seemed to be the star in this case, because the video shows you exactly what happened that night -- Ana.
CABRERA: Well, and we know that that is exactly what the jury was focused on in their deliberations, because they put forward about five questions, I recall, to the judge, to the court, and most of those specific to the video, as well as the jury instructions themselves.
So they were reviewing that video, one of them in court. The other one, they were able to take back and watch on a laptop so they could review it multiple times if necessary. And they were very confident in this verdict as they delivered that not guilty verdict on all five counts that Kyle Rittenhouse was facing.
We saw him tear up in court. We saw him what -- appeared to be collapse in some way as he hugged his lawyer, and then was visibly shaking as the judge confirmed he was now a free man, just 18 years old when this crime that he was alleged to have committed took place.
He was just 17 years old at the time when he went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with that AR-15-style weapon and ultimately shot and killed two men and wounded a third, but, again, not guilty on all charges. His defense was it was in self-defense, and the jury apparently agreed with that.
Sara, let me come back to you, because we do know that this case was full of emotion by both sides, by people in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Remember, this all happened in February -- excuse me -- in August, I believe, of 2020. It was in the summer of 2020, following the Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd, of course.
And so there was so much emotion, right, when all of this happened. And that emotion really came to fruition again as this trial was under way. And we know that the governor of Wisconsin has been concerned about heightened emotion following any verdict.
What is the status as far as security and that sort of thing right now?
SIDNER: We knew that something was going to happen and that the jury had reached some sort of verdict because, all of a sudden, there were a multiple number of deputies and members of the ATF inside the court that had not been there or at least had not been visible throughout this trial.
We also know that the National Guard has been called in. They were called in earlier in the week. They have not been visible at all. They are nowhere around the court or anything like that. But they are ready and waiting in case there is unrest.
We also know that this is very different from what we saw this summer. The number of protesters who have been coming to the court on a regular basis includes Jacob Blake's uncle Justin and about a dozen or more people who show up regularly. And then there are folks here who are standing for Kyle Rittenhouse and now for this not guilty verdict.
But there hasn't been a huge number of people who have shown up on a daily basis here. There have been people on the steps every single day. And, yes, tensions, they flare