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27 Aug, 2020 22:55

As Kenosha rifleman gets legal aid, online vigilantes ARCHIVE tweets for defamation suits likely to come

As Kenosha rifleman gets legal aid, online vigilantes ARCHIVE tweets for defamation suits likely to come

With the same lawyer who secured defamation settlements from the media for Nick Sandmann now joining the defense of Kenosha, Wisconsin shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, a whole lot of tweets might be soon getting scrubbed in a hurry.

Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested and charged with premeditated murder for shooting three rioters – two of them fatally – in Kenosha on Tuesday evening, during the second day of Black Lives Matter riots. On Thursday, however, attorney Lin Wood – who represented Sandmann in suits against the Washington Post and CNN – offered to defend him pro bono.

That could spell bad news for almost everyone who piled onto Rittenhouse over the past 48 hours. One of the most outspoken was Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), member of the progressive 'Squad,' who went so far as to call him a “white supremacist domestic terrorist.”  

Actual facts trickling in from Kenosha, however, suggest otherwise. Videos from the riot indicate Rittenhouse acted in self-defense in all three cases. There is no evidence he was a “white supremacist” of any kind. Furthermore, the people Rittenhouse shot – all white – were filmed clearly attacking him, prompting even the New York Times to seriously entertain the idea of legitimate self-defense in this instance.

Last but not least, far from “assembling to affirm the value, dignity, and worth of black lives,” one of the people Rittenhouse shot was himself armed, and reportedly said he regretted not killing him first.

Also on rt.com Armed Kenosha shooting victim tells friend he regrets ‘NOT KILLING THE KID’ in Facebook post

“His only regret was not killing the kid and hesitating to pull the gun before emptying the entire mag into him,” Jacob Marshall, a friend of Gaige Grosskreutz, posted on social media. “Should’ve killed him right there and then.”

All this suggests that Rittenhouse may well be acquitted in court, and then have grounds to sue for defamation anyone who called him a terrorist, racist or worse. Indeed, Wood’s involvement has spurred internet activist Mark Dice to urge his followers to “save all the tweets” of those who defamed Rittenhouse, so they could be used in future lawsuits.

Both CNN and the Washington Post have agreed to pay undisclosed amounts to Wood’s previous teenage client, Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann, whom they defamed based on a video filmed in January 2019 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Sandmann appeared on the second night of the Republican National Convention this week, to speak about the incident and champion free speech.

Also on rt.com GoFundMe deletes fundraiser for accused Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, promotes campaign for his victim

So widespread was the media condemnation of Rittenhouse, the online fundraising site GoFundMe deleted a campaign to raise money for his legal defense fund, while openly promoting a campaign calling one of the men he shot “a hero.”

While journalists, celebrities and corporations may face consequences for their rush to conclusions, Pressley is likely to skate. Ironically, she may be “above the law” in this particular instance – enjoying the same sovereign immunity as her colleagues Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), according to a federal judge who excluded them from the Covington case.

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