Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorney is not happy with the use of his client by some Republicans to ‘profit on’ his not guilty verdict, he said Saturday.
Mark Richards represented Rittenhouse as he stood trial for homicide in relation to an August 25, 2020 incident where the then 17-year-old Rittenhouse shot three people with an AR-15, killing two during protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse was charged with fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz and was also charged with recklessly endangering two other men.
The jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges: two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide for wounding a third man, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.
Richards said he was unhappy with the likes of Donald Trump Jr. offering Rittenhouse free guns, while GOP Representatives Paul Gosar, Matt Gaetz and Madison Cawthorn all offered the teen an internship.
‘There’s a lot of people trying to profit on this, and I don’t think people should,’ said Richards.
Attorney Mark Richards (pictured left) and Kyle Rittenhouse seen in court in Wisconsin
Richards has been critical of those who he sees as attempting to profit off of Rittenhouse
Richards went on to call it ‘disgusting’ that they would try to cash in on Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
Gosar said on Twitter that he would ‘arm wrestle’ Gaetz in order to ‘get dibs for Kyle as an intern.’
Gaetz had previously said that he wanted to hire Rittenhouse.
Cawthorn posted a video on Instagram live that included text reading ‘KYLE: IF YOU WANT AN INTERNSHIP, REACH OUT TO ME.’
‘They’re raising money on it and you have all these Republican congressmen saying come work for me,’ Rittenhouse’s attorney told Insider. ‘They want to trade on his celebrity and I think it’s disgusting.’
Richards also trashed Donald Trump Jr. for tweeting about a gun rights organization wanting to award Rittenhouse with another AR-15 in a tweet he has since deleted.
‘He’s an idiot,’ Richards said. ‘I don’t have to expand on that because it speaks for itself.’
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said he was interested in hiring Rittenhouse and celebrated the verdict
Rep. Madison Cawthorn expressed his desire to give Rittenhouse a job in an Instagram Live video
Rep. Paul Gosar said he would battle Gaetz to ‘get dibs’ on Rittenhouse
Gosar’s tweet in celebration of the verdict
Donald Trump Jr., in a since-deleted tweet, asked people to support gifting Rittenhouse another AR-15
Amid a heavy law enforcement presence, several dozen protesters lined the steps outside the courthouse after the verdict was read, some carrying placards in support of Rittenhouse and others expressing disappointment.
‘We are all so very happy that Kyle can live his life as a free and innocent man, but in this whole situation there are no winners, there are two people who lost their lives and that’s not lost on us at all,’ David Hancock, a spokesperson for the Rittenhouse family, told Reuters.
Rittenhouse testified in his own defense last Wednesday in the trial’s most dramatic moment – a risky decision by his lawyers given his youth and the prospect of tough prosecution cross-examination.
The teen broke down sobbing at one point but emphasized that he fired upon the men only after being attacked.
Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty on all counts. The verdict came in at 12.15pm Friday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, leading to fears that the city might once again erupt in violence
Kyle Rittenhouse reacts to the not guilty verdict on Thursday. He testified that he acted in self-defense
‘I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me,’ he said.
Rittenhouse testified that he shot Huber after he had struck him with a skateboard and pulled on his weapon.
He said he fired on Grosskreutz after the man pointed the pistol he was carrying at the teenager – an assertion Grosskreutz acknowledged under questioning from the defense.
Rittenhouse testified that he shot Rosenbaum after the man chased him and grabbed his gun.
President Joe Biden, who during last year’s election campaign tweeted a video that appeared to link Rittenhouse to white supremacists, said on Friday he supported the jury’s decision.
Kyle Rittenhouse supporters celebrate outside the Kenosha County Courthouse after US jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha protest shootings that killed two and injured a third
Demonstrators hold a sign touting the Revolutionary Communist Party protest against the not-guilty verdict
People exit the Kenosha County Courthouse moments after the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case is announced
But elsewhere reaction showed deep partisan divisions. It was greeted with outrage by many on the political left and celebrated by gun rights supporters.
‘It is unconscionable our justice system would allow an armed vigilante … to go free,’ the Congressional Black Caucus said in a statement.
The thorny issue of race also hung over the case, although Rittenhouse and the men he shot were all white. Some Black activists said on Friday the U.S. police and courts would have treated the teenager more harshly if he had been Black.
But conservatives saw the verdict as a validation of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms.
U.S. congressman Madison Cawthorn, a Republican representative from North Carolina, said on Instagram: ‘Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty my friends. You have a right to defend yourselves. Be armed, be dangerous and be moral.’