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Prosecution Rebuttal Argument Under Way In Kyle Rittenhouse Trial; Biden Signs $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Into Law, Seals Big Political Win At Critical Moment For His Presidency; Prosecution Delivers Rebuttal Argument In Rittenhouse Trial; Judge Charges Jury In Rittenhouse Trial. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired November 15, 2021 - 18:00   ET



JAMES KRAUS, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, KENOSHA COUNTY: To meet this privilege, they had to concoct a story. They had to concoct a story about how (INAUDIBLE) in great fear this gun being used.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Once again, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

As you know, we've been watching the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial. We'll continue to monitor that. Standby for more on that.

But there's another major story we're following here in THE SITUATION ROOM, President Biden's sealing a much needed victory just a little while ago by signing the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. It is now the law of the land.

Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, after a long, very hard fight, the president just delivered on a major campaign promise. Update our viewers.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, it is a major campaign promise and not just to repair the nation's roads and bridges, which we know, of course, is at the heart of what this bill will do, but also to work with Republicans to get his policies passed. And so that's what was so unusual about this signing ceremony that you saw on the south lawn today just a few hours ago. There's President Biden there.

He was surrounded by Democrats and some of the Republicans who helped get this across the finish line. And you even heard from them at the beginning, Wolf, introducing the president, talking about why they voted to support this bill. And it was a theme the president included in his remarks, even thanking Senator Mitch McConnell, who was not present there today, but did, of course, vote for this bill, as President Biden thanked him not just for voting for it but for publicly talking about the good that this bill will do.

Of course, we know it's tens of billions of dollars for roads and bridges, for the nation's airports, for boosting internet access. But the president also talked directly to the American people about what it means for Democrats and Republicans to work together.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: The world has changed. We have to be ready. My fellow Americans, today I want you to know we hear you and we see you. The bill I'm about to sign into law is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results.


COLLINS: Now, Wolf, he signed this bill into law. Now, he is going to start selling it to voters. The White House hoping it will boost those low approval ratings that you've seen lately. Starting in New Hampshire tomorrow, where the president is going to be on the road talking about what this bill will do given, of course, it is going to take some time to implement this bill.

That is something the former New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu, is going to be in charge of overseeing, the implementation of this billion dollar plan. He was there at the ceremony this afternoon here at the White House. And, of course, it's going to take some time but White House wants to go ahead and start talking about the results to voters, of course, so the president will be hitting the road tomorrow to sell this bill, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes. He'll be going off to New Hampshire tomorrow to begin the sales pitch for what is now the law of the land. Kaitlan Collins at the White House, thank you very much.

Let's discuss what's going on. The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, is joining us right now. Jen, thank you very much for joining us. I know there's a lot in this bill, $1.2 trillion for much needed improvements for roads and bridges and airports, expanded access to the internet. Which component of the bill does the president believe will have the most transformative impact on Americans' lives?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, that's like picking between children, Wolf. They're all going to have huge, important impacts. But I will tell you a couple of things you didn't mention. One is expanding broadband access to people across the country. We saw during the pandemic, parents, mothers, dads, had their kids in parking lots in McDonald's, in Walmarts in other places because they didn't have access to broad band. The president wants to change that. We know across the country millions of people are drinking water through lead pipes. Kids are drinking poisoned drinking water. We know that from the stories we saw in Flint, Michigan. We're going to change that by replacing these lead pipes. So, those are areas that are going to have huge impacts on families across the country and we're also going to rebuild roads, railways, bridges, historic investment on public transit, so that we can become more competitive with countries around the world. So, a big deal, a big day.

BLITZER: It's a very big deal, a very important bipartisan support. I did say the legislation will have expanded access to the internet, so I did mention that. The president also told Americans, as you know, Jen, that their lives are going change for the better because of this bill. Here is the question. How quickly can Americans expect to see that change? How long will it take?

PSAKI: Former Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former lieutenant governor, just started. Today was his first day. What a day to start. He's going to be traveling with the president tomorrow. And the president has made clear he wants him to get to work implementing this bill. And that means working with mayors and governors, working with members of the cabinet to get going in implementing this bill.


And I sat in on the president's cabinet meeting on Friday and what that meeting was focused on for two or three hours was each of the component of the cabinet members and what they're going to be implementing about this package.

So, we're going to get it done quickly as possible. I will note that this bill is designed to be spent over a period of time, right? It's not meant to be all thrown into the economy immediately. It's spent over time. But there are component that we're going to get started as soon as Mitch Landrieu has a few days under his belt.

BLITZER: Beyond the appointment Mitch Landrieu, the former New Orleans mayor, what steps are you taking to ensure that all of the $1.2 trillion is allocated wisely and not wasted?

PSAKI: Well, the president takes waste, fraud and abuse incredibly seriously. And when he was asked by former President Obama to oversee the implementation of the recovery act back in 2009, people called him Sheriff Joe because he was so focused on cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse. And he had a lot of success in doing that.

So, that is actually a big component of what the former Mayor Landrieu will be overseeing in this role as the implementation coordinator, ensuring that this money is spent efficiently, effectively, wisely, and that is going to require hours of every day on the phone with mayors and governors and making sure we're getting this money where it needs to be, put people back to work, create good union jobs and make sure we're impacting people's lives.

BLITZER: As well you know, Jen, there is this new Washington Post/ABC News poll that finds 63 percent of respondents say the president has accomplished, quote, not very much or little or nothing so far in his presidency. Has there been a failure of messaging on the part of the White House?

PSAKI: Well, you've covered a few White Houses, Wolf, I know, and what I can tell you from having worked in a White House before as well is that you don't design a communication strategy around telling the story of the sausage-making in Washington. And that's what we've been talking about over the last couple of months. This is an important, essential part of how bills get done, how democracy happens. But what the president really wants to do and what we think is going to be effective is get out there in the country, sell this bill, talk about the impact on people's lives. The vice president will be out there doing that, members of the cabinet. And it's much easier and effective to do that when the bill is final. You know what the components are and you can talk about all the pieces that we've been talking about during this interview.

BLITZER: And as you point out, some of the legislation won't be implemented for several years. It's not going to spent right away.

The next huge priority, of course, on the president's agenda is what's called the Build Back Better plan, $1.75 trillion piece of legislation presumably going to pass the House, very much up in the air as far as the Senate is concerned. Should that spending plan though be delayed until next year given that inflation here in the United States has now risen to a 30-year high?

PSAKI: Well, first, Wolf, inflation, which is something we certainly watch closely and any cost increase for the American people is something that's of concern to the president. But what this bill will do is lower costs. And the way inflation impacts people at home is it increases costs, whether it's goods or housing or healthcare. And what this bill does is lower cost. It's going to cut the cost of child care. It's going to cut the cost of healthcare. For people who rely on insulin, it caps the cost at $35. That's going to have a huge impact. It will help invest in building housing units so that people can go and find affordable housing.

So this is a bill about cutting costs. That's exactly what the American people need right now. And economists across the board will say this will actually help reduce inflation, address inflation over the long-term.

BLITZER: How is the bill going to cut the cost of gasoline?

PSAKI: Well, one of the things it will do over the long-term, Wolf, is invest in clean energy, make sure we're not relying as much on oil. That's a long-term impact of this package, the Build Back Better agenda, that has an enormous investment in climate and addressing the climate crisis.

What we need to do over the short-term on gasoline is a couple of things. One, the president has been clear that we are going to go after price gouging you see out there in the country. He's asked the FTC, our NEC Director Brian Deese has written a letter to the FTC to look into that. We've seen -- while we've seen an increase in oil supply out there, we have not seen a decrease in gas prices. That should not be the case. So, that's something they're looking into.

And we're going to -- we have a range of options at our disposal. We're going to look into every option we can to lower the price of gas for the American people. But this is a bill that's going to help cut a range of costs, childcare, housing, healthcare for the American people and something we feel we need to do as quickly as possible.

BLITZER: Let me ask you about Steve Bannon, who made his initial appearance in federal court here in Washington today, Jen.


Bannon says, and I'm quoting, he says Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland, the attorney general of the United States, to prosecute me from the White House lawn. The president, as you know, walked back his previous comment on that, but could that remark actually complicate the Justice Department's case against Bannon?

PSAKI: Well, let me be very clear here. The president nominated Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general and made clear he's going to oversee an independent Justice Department. Merrick Garland in his hearing, which I know you covered, Wolf, made clear he would not have taken the job and done the job unless he had an independent Justice Department, and that is exactly how it has been operating and will continue to operate.

So, the Department of Justice can speak to their decisions here, but I will note maybe this feels foreign because this is different how the Justice Department and White House interacted in the last four years. We're doing something new here and we're allowing them, leaving the space for them to operate independently as they should.

BLITZER: Was it a mistake for the president to say Bannon should be prosecuted before the Justice Department reached any decision?

PSAKI: Well, we were clear after that, shortly after that, Wolf, that the president does not involve himself, does not engage himself in the decisions made related to prosecution by the Justice Department, that they have independence and that will continue to be the case.

BLITZER: We'll see if it becomes an issue during this case.

Last night, Jen, after CNN reported that west wing aides are exasperated by what they see as dysfunction between the vice president, Kamala Harris, and her staff, you took to Twitter to defend the vice president saying she is a vital partner to the president of the United States. Press secretaries don't necessarily respond to every story. Why did you feel the need to respond to this one?

PSAKI: Well, Wolf, I've seen the vice president work up close and I've watched the president and the vice president in meetings and watched them work together up close and I just wanted to be clear about what I saw. That's my role as the press secretary in this White House, is to send a clear message to the American people. And so I went out there and made clear that the vice president is a vital partner. She's a bold leader and she's taken on some challenging assignments, really, but important ones. Whether it's voting rights or addressing the root causes of migration. And that's what I felt I should convey to the American people out there who may have been reading a range of stories.

BLITZER: I know we're almost out of time, but lastly, very important. I know you just returned to the White House the other day after having COVID, and sorry you came down with COVID. First of all, how are you feeling, and second, did having this virus yourself, and I take it members of your family, give you a new perspective as the administration tries to lead the country out of this pandemic, which sadly still continues?

PSAKI: Well, I would say it made me even more grateful for the vaccine, as you noted. And I was public and transparent about this. Members of my household tested positive. I then several days later, even after four negative tests, tested positive and I'm grateful for the vaccine. I had mild symptoms. I was a little tired and fatigued for a couple of days. But other than that, I abided by my ten-day quarantine and returned back to work. So, really, I'm just incredibly grateful to the vaccine, and the fact that it may have kept me safe, it may have saved my life.

BLITZER: Well, these vaccines are so, so important. But I just want to clarify, you and all the members of your family are fully recovered, everybody is fine?

PSAKI: Yes, I appreciate that, Wolf. Thank you for asking. Everybody is fine. Everybody has recovered and we're grateful to be back at work and school and everything we're all a part of every day.

BLITZER: Well, that makes me happy to hear that. Jen Psaki, thank you so much for joining us. Lots going on, we could have gone for a while longer, but I know you've got to run. Thank you so much for doing this.

PSAKI: Thanks, Wolf. Great chatting with you.

BLITZER: Thank you. We're going to continue to monitor the trial, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial that's still ongoing right now. Stand by for more on that.

Also, we're going to have more on Steve Bannon in court here in Washington today. And, clearly, he's on the offensive as he battles contempt of Congress charges.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.



BLITZER: We're going to go back to the Kyle Rittenhouse trial right now, Kenosha, Wisconsin. The assistant district attorney, the prosecution's rebuttal has just started.

KRAUS: -- where the threat took place. And it's the only few seconds of that part of the night that is not on tape anywhere. It's another concoction to give credence or to give weight that, oh, he had to defend himself against an unarmed man.

There's some talk about how the defendant came around that Duramax and raised his gun. That didn't seem to be a contested issue in the case until the defendant lied about it on the stand. The defense themselves submitted an exhibit, number 41. It is denoted where the person that put that video together indicates Rittenhouse pointing gun at Ziminskis and there's a question mark. This was their exhibit.

There is testimony from the Detective Antaramian and we showed this drone video. Now -- but then the defendant won't admit to it on the stand, and then all of a sudden the defense h to fight it and talk about hocus pocus and make up little clever rhymes. The defendant could have told you the truth but that hurts his case and that gives us provocation.


Now, I did, I did have on rebuttal, Mr. Armstrong put in two very blurry pictures. Mr. Binger didn't even mention these pictures in his closing because they are maybe the fifth, sixth or seventh strongest pieces evidence that Mr. Rittenhouse raised his gun, but the defense is seizing on them and they inaccurately said that it took him 20 hours of work to do. He worked on that drone video for 20 hours. He made us multiple shorter videos of it. These images were the last part of that work. And that image does show Mr. Rittenhouse holding a gun. It is blurry. Does it show every detail? No. But we thought it important that there would at least be some still shot besides these videos.

The second one I showed, again, is very blurry, but it's of the shooting. And you see Mr. Rittenhouse blurry. You see the puff of smoke and you see Mr. Rosenbaum blurry still very much upright. And that is why those pictures are given. It was the tail end of all the work that Mr. Armstrong did on this video. The defense seems very scared of these pictures because it helps to prove their client lied on the stand and it shows that he provoked the attack.

Now, I would like to show you, I believe this is the full drone video, exhibit 73. So, in this one, it is difficult to see the raising of the gun because it's the full video. I would encourage you if you find it necessary to take a closer look at the bigger T.V. Please stop it.

Now, if you've seen this video, Mr. Richards wants to make it seem like the only recourse the defendant has in retreating is walking into this mob of people who were breaking cars. But look at all that open space that he has. At this moment, he could have turned around and ran to that space and go right back of Sheridan and everyone would be alive and everyone will be fine. Instead, he decides to start slowing down and run into these cars in which he is supposedly trapped, which is like being trapped Target in a parking lot.

As you see, as we keep playing it, he goes around them, no problem, and he goes right into totally clear space that was available to him the whole time. He did not exhaust his duty to retreat. He did not exhaust all of his options.

Now, I'm going to go to the video. I'm going to point something out. Mr. Binger is going to play it again, and I'll show. This is in relation to Mr. Richards indicated that no one that attacked or that went after Mr. Rittenhouse in the second incident observed the shooting. That is not true. This video shows the person that is referred to as jump kick man leaving the scene. And we have another view as well from another video, but I will point that out point that out.

(INAUDIBLE) get out of the way. This is -- he sees it. He's standing there the whole time. He comes and he helps push the man in the wheelchair out of the scene. He absolutely was there. He did see what happened.

This is exhibit ten. This is the Ford Fischer If you look after the shooting, it shows this individual pushing a wheelchair away from Car Source three. There he is across the street, pushing the man's wheelchair away out of the scene.


This is one of the video you've seen before. It does look better on the large television, but this is where he comes into the screen. This is one of the videos that Mr. Armstrong cropped for us in his 20 hours of work. This is slowed down by 50 percent and it zooms in as good as possible given limitations of the video. I'll point it out up here, but it is better seen on the large T.V. There he is pointing a gun. He's not close enough to the car to have that be a factor. He puts on the fire extinguisher, he breezes off. Do the next -- you got it? Again, that really wasn't an issue at trial until the defendant lied about it.

Exhibit 84, this is another video that Mr. Armstrong did in his 20 hours of work. And this shows the part of the chase that you see him point. Mr. Rosenbaum does his jump. See the defendant slowing down, seemingly preparing to shoot. And look where that first shot is. Go back, we'll play it one more time. This is the zoomed in image that, well, eventually was shown. Look how far -- he's not reaching. He's being shot in the hip and falling. And he goes immediately to the ground and the defendant sees fit to keep shooting at him although he poses absolutely no threat, again, four feet from the barrel of the gun, not from Mr. Rittenhouse himself.

Here is another video Mr. Armstrong made in his 20 hours of work. He made six of them all told. They're in evidence. Here's a close up of the final shooting. The puff of smoke is already out, he's already upright. He crumbles immediately to the ground but the defendant keeps shooting him.

So, did Mr. Rosenbaum turn and get shot in the back that way? No, he was even less of a threat. He was falling face first on the ground with his hip shattered. So, yes, he was shot in the back and he was killed by a shot in the back and it was the third or fourth shot.

Attorney Richards indicated that Nick Smith called the defendant. Nick Smith did not testify to that. He was never asked. We don't know who or what -- who called the defendant to go to that scene. And despite the fact that there's this madman out there who's such a threat and is going to kill the defendant, he just saunters down there all by himself, no problem. He's not scared. His threat, if it even existed, was not taken seriously. He's a babbling idiot, as Mr. Lakowski said. Mr. Rittenhouse testified he didn't hear the -- anything before he shot. He didn't hear this fuck you. He didn't factor in the gun shot.

There is no evidence that Mr. Huber did anything on towards that evening.


They talked about pushing a dumpster, picking up pepper balls. That was not evidence that was ever submitted in this trial, and I don't know where it comes from. No evidence that he told Gaige Grosskreutz, I had to shoot in self-defense.

And Attorney Richards talks about how well Mr. -- Detective Howard testified in a certain way and how he didn't talk about the drone footage or anything. He knows we got the drone footage surprisingly after Detective Howard testified. Guns do not have handed. There's not a left-handed or right-handed gun. So, yes, the demonstration that Mr. Binger did is how it happened. The defendant was facing that way, he picked it up and the videos show it. Detective Antaramian reviewed it and saw it and testified to it. And it wasn't an issue until the defendant lied. Videos don't lie. But we know Kyle Rittenhouse does. He lied all that night.

A lot has been made about how Gaige Grosskreutz had an attorney. How hypocritical from a lawyer to hear someone criticize someone else higher in counsel. Mr. Rittenhouse isn't here alone. He has lawyers. And I apologize that the District Attorney's Office followed our interpretation of Marcsy's Law, which is a fairly recent, especially at that time, constitutional amendment.

Gaige Grosskreutz is not on trial. He followed the advice of counsel not to turn over his phone, just as anyone who hires counsel can do. They can follow the advice of their counsel. We got his video from that night. The defense has seen it. We have it. What else do we need? Text messages from three weeks before? They just want to try to dig up dirt because they think it's there because the defense wants you to believe that these people got what was coming to them, that they were bad people doing bad things and we should be proud and boastful of Mr. Rittenhouse for killing them.

Gaige Grosskreutz testified what he heard, he heard I didn't shoot anyone and Gaige Grosskreutz acted on that. He then followed and went, he left Mr. Rittenhouse thinking he was not involved in the shooting, and started going to the shooting of Mr. Rosenbaum before being told by others that saw it that he was the shooter, and then he returned. So, Gaige Grosskreutz relied on this statement of Mr. Rittenhouse.

Let's talk about a rush to judgment. Mr. Rittenhouse turned himself in. Are you supposed to be days, weeks, months to charge murderers who we know murdered people? It's a red herring, as Mr. Binger said. It's throwing up red herrings, false, hypocritical arguments and attacks on those that Mr. Rittenhouse killed to try and distract you from the fact that he was not in imminent fear of death or bodily harm and he was not privileged to act how he did.

We heard from Ms. Carrie Ann Swirl (ph). Now that (INAUDIBLE) talked about jail, now we can try to smear Mr. Rosenbaum more although there really is no dispute or was no dispute that he came from a hospital. He's carrying a hospital bag. She testified she talked to the hospital about how he would be release, that he went to this hospital. She knew he was coming home from the hospital. She knew what was in the bag. And he showed that picture of it backlit against the fire trying to make it seem sinister.

She talked about how there are medical papers in there. And we did that image again. Mr. Armstrong did this image for us where you can get a little peek in the bag and I would argue you can see medical papers. That big image that you see, it looks like rolled up medical records that you get when you're discharged from a hospital. And Ms. Swirl (ph) testified that he was given medications that day. Perhaps they didn't work. Perhaps there was a bad reaction. I don't know. I'm not a doctor, but he was given them that day. He could not get the ones for future days because things were closed.

Bauch (ph) did not testify that he thought there was anything sinister in the bag. He said something inaccurate at the time, but he said that he saw shampoo bottles and a water bottle.

Mr. DeBruin, he did take some nice photographs and he clearly wanted the world to know that he took some nice photographs. He's really more relevant to Mr. Ziminski. And he apparently -- this is the photo of the bag. You can examine that further. Mr. DeBruin must have some problem with police and D.A.'s offices. He goes to the detectives. He doesn't give a full story. He says -- he testified to this. This is not saying anything. He forgot that because he was so nervous because the door to the police station still had an unrepaired window. That caused him such nervousness that he could not give a full statement. He meets with us in a very polite, short meeting. He has very little relevance to this case that we knew about and, yes, we shared some videos. Is this Josh Ziminski? Oh, no, it's not. Okay. But do you see him in these other pictures? Yes, You don't know Josh Ziminski? Okay.

Somehow, that's us getting him to change his statement. What's that? We show him pictures, videos, say is that Josh Ziminski? I don't know. We show him other pictures. Do you recognize that as the same person? Yes. That's not getting him to change his statement. We had him read a statement. Do you have anything to add to it? No. The next day, he goes over to Mr. Richards' office. All of a sudden, he knows all this extra information that wasn't in his statement. Oh, but he was so nervous meeting with us because we showed him a video or photograph that he took of Joshua Ziminski. And then what does he do? He goes and hires a lawyer very closely connected with a gossip blogger who attacks my office on a regular basis and he was very pro-Rittenhouse.

Another just funny coincidence in this case, just like how Mr. Hernandez, who doesn't live in the state, could hire any of the thousands of attorneys in Wisconsin, or tens of thousands of attorneys in the state, but no, he hires an attorney who Kyle Rittenhouse's defense team has already paid money to that firm. What a coincidence. So Mr. DeBruin doesn't tell us information then tries to attack us, and then gives -- tells the defense a lot more information.

Mr. Rittenhouse denied pointing a gun at the yellow pants man, said he was being sarcastic. Mr. Richards basically admitted he did point the gun. So which is it? We know that Mr. Rittenhouse was going around that night trying be a paramedic, a policeman and a fireman without receiving any real training in any of that. Tough job to do all three at once. And he went around with his gun trying to scare people, to intimidate them, to not do minor property damage.

He's a chaos tourist. He was there to see what was going on, act important, be a big deal, and then the moment a little bit of that chaos comes back at him, he cowardly shoots a man instead of fighting back. You put yourself in this situation you know it's going to be out of hand, it gets a little out of hand, someone is chasing me, and you have to shoot them. That is not privileged. That is not reasonable. And that is not what any reasonable person in the defendant's shoes would have done.

We kept hearing about this rock in his hand. There's new evidence of there being a rock in that hand. Now, there's talk about how the defendant may have re-racked his gun. We don't see that in the video. We don't know what he did. But we do know that as Gaige Grosskreutz is sitting there with his hands up, the defendant turns over his gun and is looking at it, he's doing something with it, fully reason -- the defendant admitted to this, that he looked at the gun.

Fully reasonable that Mr. Grosskreutz could have assumed he was re- racking and preparing to fire. And it does not mean that an unspent shell casing has to be on the ground. Officer Bray testified that she shot AR-15s. She knows AR-15s.


There's an -- if it jams and there's an unspent shell casing, the re- racking will take out the unspent shell casing. It does not have to be a live round.

I don't know what he was doing with his gun, but it's certainly reasonable for Mr. Grosskreutz to interpret it that way. And then what does he do? He doesn't step back and take a firing position and shoot. And he didn't shoot him five, six seconds earlier when he was -- when Mr. Rittenhouse was being an active shooter. After having killed his second person and shot at his third, he would have had every right to have stopped Mr. Rittenhouse's activities at that point, but he didn't. He came up closer. He surrendered and he said, you know, he believed his surrender was not being accepted.

Who shoots someone like this? Is he trying to shoot his own hand off? He never does anything about an actual position to shoot that gun. And as Mr. Richards admitted in his closing, when it's pointed at his head, his arm is already blown off. You're supposed to be so scared of Mr. Grosskreutz with his glock when the defendant is holding a loaded AR-15.

Then there's this preposterous argument that, oh, Kelly Ziminski is holding a flashlight. It must be to bash heads. Certainly, no one carries flashlights at night to walk in the dark or walk to your car in the dark. I take my dog for a walk looking to bashing heads. No.

We hear about how, oh, this vicious kick that if you watch it live, did not seem to make much contact, spun him 180 degrees. That is Kyle tracking him with the gun and shooting at him. He's moving as he's moving. That is not the force of the kick and the video makes that clear. But, again, we're grasping at straws and throwing out red herrings.

And now a skateboard is a deadly weapon. Someone should tell all the parents and grandparents and Santa Claus getting skateboards this Christmas about how they're giving their children a deadly weapon. I guess they should get them an AR-15 instead. It's just preposterous. And, yes, Mr. Huber was acting heroic in taking that skateboard and holding him down and trying to take that gun. And what happened? The gun stayed attached to Mr. Rittenhouse. Because when the defense concocted this they were trying to take my gun story, they left out that it is literally strapped to him.

He shot an unarmed man four times because he was so scared that Mr. Rosenbaum was going to take the gun away from him when it was attached to him. It's an absolute red herring, an absolute ridiculous argument, imminent threat. Not, oh, in five minutes after we get beat up, then I might be a threat, imminent threat.

You've heard all the videos. I'm not going to go into it anymore great length. But when you listen to the crowd as Mr. Rittenhouse is running, they start yelling after he's running, and they're screaming, get him. Also, as people are approaching him at the end, they're asking why did you shoot him, why did you shoot him.

These are people that were provoked because they witnessed an attack or heard shots or heard he was attacking and they took action. As Mr. Binger said, I probably wouldn't do it either. But that they did it is brave and they did not sit there to be killed.

Kyle Rittenhouse has strong ties to Kenosha, but used Google maps to find a business he says he's driven by every day. He supposedly knows Kenosha and he's such familiar with Kenosha that he doesn't realize you can walk one block either way to get back to the Car Source. He didn't want to get back. He wanted to see what was going on. He wanted to stay in the action. He wanted to continue to do things that make him feel big and make him feel important.


These minor injuries we've heard the defendant have, again, Mr. Richards misstated the standard. It is not could have caused great bodily harm or death. It is not likely to have caused great bodily harm or death. It is imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.

Where is that when you get a couple of scrapes? Everybody takes a beating sometimes, right? Sometimes you get in a scuffle and maybe you do get hurt a little bit. That doesn't mean you can just start plugging people with your full metal jacket AR-15 rounds and no bullets or not bullets. We heard testimony about that.

Mr. Richards mentioned this in opening, but apparently, he's noticed that the evidence doesn't bear it out. He talks about this how Mr. Rosenbaum put this shirt over his head to hide his identity because he's going to go ambush Kyle Rittenhouse. Then obviously watch the videos, he's had it on his head for some time.

Whether it's COVID, this is all pre-vaccine, as we know. Whether it's tear gas, fire, whatever it is, he's using it to protect his face. Not as some evil plan to get Kyle Rittenhouse.

They're setting this fire and they begin walking down Sheridan. There's no evidence they knew he was coming, that they had a plan to get him. I submit to you that the Ziminskis and Mr. Rosenbaum were doing what they were doing all night. They're going to bash that Duramax or start or stoke a fire.

He sees this and runs on to the scene. He runs on to the scene. He puts down the fire extinguisher, raises up his gun. Mr. Rosenbaum yells, gun, gun, gun. Why else would he yell that? It's possible while he's yelling friendly, friendly, friendly, he's holding an AR-15 at the Ziminskis.

Mr. Rosenbaum was going to chase him out of there, to end the danger and Mr. Richards boasts that you know, something along the lines, you won't do shit, motherfucker, well, Mr. Rosenbaum was wrong. That doesn't add water right there. Way to kill someone because you won't engage them.

He raises the gun. He provokes the attack. He has to retreat. He has to exhaust all remedies before he can use, before he regains the right to even use self-defense. Not even to use deadly force. That's a whole other separate question. He does regain the right to use self-defense if he exhausts all options. He does no.

He could have ran a different way. He could have fought. He had all sorts of different ways. He did not do it.

As I said in the beginning of my closing, I don't think you need provocation. An unarmed man chasing you and you shoot him four times as he's falling, you kill him as he's falling in front of you because you don't want to physically defend yourself, that's first degree reckless homicide right there. And Mr. Richards kind of plays games with the name, reckless. Reckless means not intentional in this circumstance and you can read the jury instructions, you can come to your own conclusions.

Firing an AR-15 in any circumstance like this shows utter disregard for human life. No other explanation for it. You're shooting an AR-15 at close range at people, you have no disregard for human life. That's not really in any dispute.

I want to leave you with this. The meaning of reasonable doubt. I'm going to read portions of this instruction. Obviously you'll have the whole instruction.

The term reasonable doubt means a doubt based upon reason and common sense. It is a doubt for which a reason can be given. A reasonable doubt is not a doubt which is based on mere guesswork or speculation.

That's what the defense is asking you to do, to guess what Mr. Rosenbaum was doing, to speculate what Mr. Rosenbaum was doing. To speculate and guess what Mr. Huber and this unidentified man were doing. We don't know because he killed two of them. All we can look at is the evidence, and see him standing, pretty much, straight up or exactly straight up when he was shot in the hip and immobilized. A doubt which arises merely from sympathy or from fear to return a

verdict of guilt is not a reasonable doubt.


The defense's whole case has been trying to stoke sympathy for Mr. Rittenhouse, and showing how everyone else was just a terrible person. Every life counts. Every life matters. If people did bad things that night, they could've been prosecuted. It's not up for Mr. Rittenhouse to be the judge, the jury, and eventually the executioner.

A reasonable doubt is not a doubt, such as may be used to escape the responsibility of a decision. There's a lot going on in this case, and we all know that. We all knew that from the day we walked in on November 1st.

But this verdict should be about what the facts are, and what Mr. Rittenhouse did. That's what the 12 of you, who go to deliberate, will go and decide. You are the fact finders. You decide what is beyond a reasonable doubt. You decide what he is guilty of or not guilty of from this menu of options that you now have.

An imminent threat. The only imminent threat that night was Mr. Rittenhouse. He was not acting in legal, justified self-defense. He is guilty. Thank you.


Members of the jury, the time has now come when the great burden of reaching a just, fair, and conscientious decision in this case will be placed wholly with you jurors selected for this most important duty. You will not be swayed by sympathy, passion, prejudice, or political beliefs. You will disregard any impression which you may have regarding what you believe to be my opinions on the guilt or innocence of the defendant. You will disregard the claims or opinions of any other person or news media or social networking site.

You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone, even the president of the United States or the president before him. The founders of our country gave you and you, alone, the power and the duty to decide this case based solely on the evidence presented in this court. You will fearlessly keep faith with those who have entrusted to you the fair rendition of justice and the protection of our freedom. You will be very careful and deliberate in weighing the evidence. I charge you to keep your duty steadfastly in mind and as upright citizens, to return just and true verdicts.

You will decide only whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the offenses which are charged. Any consequences of your verdict are matters for me, alone, to decide, and must not affect your deliberations. It will be for you to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty as to each of the offenses charged or submitted. You must make a finding as to each count of the information. Each count charges a separate crime, and you must consider each one separately. Your verdict for the crime charged in one count must not affect your verdict on any other.

This is a criminal and not a civil case and, therefore, before you can reach a verdict which may lawfully be received, it must be reached unanimously. In a criminal case, all 12 jurors must agree in order to arrive at a verdict.

When you retire to the jury room, select one of your members to preside over your deliberations. That presiding juror's vote is not entitled any greater weight than that of any other juror.

I am -- we are going to stop at this point and I am going to ask that you return tomorrow. I am going to let you take a vote, when you want to start tomorrow. You could choose 8:00. You can choose 8:30. You can choose 9:00.

How many would be in favor of starting at 8:30? How many want to start at 9 -- I missed 8:00, didn't I? How many want to start at 8:00? How many would like to start at 9:00? All right. That's the clearer consensus -- well, it's not a consensus.

But clear plurality -- probably, majority I think and so, we will start at 9:00 tomorrow as -- as we have been. The case is ready for a decision by a jury of 12. We don't have that, and it's -- so, it's just as important as ever -- I'd say more so, except that it was always important -- that you not discuss the case with anyone.


And you won't have to resist that much longer now because you will be able to decide the case. And you won't have to resist that much longer now because you will be able to decide the case. Please don't read any account of the trial or anything to do with the trial. And, tomorrow morning, we'll assemble and as I indicated earlier, the tumbler over there will be used. All of your numbers will be placed in there and six of the -- well, assuming there are still 18 of you, six of them will be drawn out.

And, those persons will be held in reserve. They will not join the 12 in deliberation. We are going to retain you here in the building -- those of you who are not selected, will stay here in the building. And in the event that your services are needed as we continue the case. And then, the 12 of you who are -- the jury selected, will commence your deliberations at that point.

So, again, no talking about the case. Please, don't read, watch, or listen to any account of the trial. Any questions, anybody? Enjoy the evening. We'll see you tomorrow.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: There's Judge Bruce Schroeder. The prosecution and the defense, they have made their respective arguments now. It's in the hands of the jury.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is in Kenosha. He has been covering this from day one.

Omar, very dramatic arguments from both sides today. OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. Really, on the

prosecution's side, they try today paint a few arguments in this. Most recently, during the rebuttal that many of us have been listening to. You heard the prosecution say this case isn't about Kyle Rittenhouse just defending himself. It's not even saying that Joseph Rosenbaum, the first killed that night, shouldn't have been chasing him.

What this comes down to is did Kyle Rittenhouse have the right to use deadly force against those that were coming up against him? And the prosecution argued that there was no imminent threat of death and they argued the defense made assumptions that Kyle Rittenhouse would have been -- would have had great bodily harm or even further. The defense said that Kyle Rittenhouse never would have shot anyone, if he were not attacked. And even went as far as to say that he never shot anyone, until he was actually cornered by some of the people that were chasing him.

You heard the jury break for the day and saying that now, tomorrow morning, the decision will be in their hands once they draw those final 12. And to give you an idea of what they will be looking at, they will be following instructions hammered out by prosecutors, defense, and the judge about two or multiple key definitions but two, in particular, when you look at self-defense. It critically says that Rittenhouse could use deadly force only to prevent imminent death or great-bodily harm to himself.

But also, what they will be looking at is the definition of provocation, saying that a person who provokes an attack can't use or threaten self-defense until he has exhausted every other reasonable means to escape death or great bodily harm and those will be two very key cruxes that the jury will be considering once they, of course, reconvene back tomorrow morning. But we've seen both sides lay their stakes and now we have only got one thing left, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Stand by, Jeffrey Toobin has been watching all of this unfold.

What's your assessment, Jeffrey?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: I still think this is a tough case for the prosecution. Self-defense in circumstances like this is difficult to refute. But I do think the prosecution made some progress today. I thought the focus on the four shots that were used to kill Mr. Rosenbaum, four shots. That's a lot of shots. And he could have done it -- he could have done it with less or no shots. I thought that was a very effective moment for the prosecution.

BLITZER: Laura Coates, what'd you think?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think the use of the phrase active shooter really ruled the day. We thought that victims or the idea of not being able to use that word would be very impactful but the idea of threading a very important needle here. Not alienating gun owners in Wisconsin but also asking the question did you forfeit your life if you try to be heroic and stop an active shooter? That was the most compelling today of the closing arguments. BLITZER: Paul Callan, what did you think?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's the difference between the prosecutor saying this is like a walk through Disneyworld and, the defense saying it was Dante's inferno.

And I think, when you look at the whole picture, it looked like Dante's inferno and there were plenty of reasons for Rittenhouse to think he might be killed.

BLITZER: The deliberations begin tomorrow. We'll watch. See what happens.

To our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.