Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who was acquitted of murder last week after shooting and killing two people in Kenosha, Wis., during civil unrest there last year, said he supports the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.On Friday, I told you that many people in right-wing comment threads are hoping Kyle Rittenhouse will sue President Biden. I think this will actually happen. I think Rittenhouse's pro-Black Lives Matter statement is intended to set up the forthcoming lawsuit.
"I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement," Rittenhouse said during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a portion of which is slated to air on Carlson's program on Monday evening.
Will this be some crazy Sidney Powell-level nonsense suit? You decide. In all likelihood, it will be based on this 2020 Biden campaign ad, in which then-president Trump is (properly) attacked for encouraging white supremacists. Rittenhouse appears at 0:13.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
The voiceover is Fox's Chris Wallace at a presidential debate asking Trump whether he'll condemn "white supremacists and militia groups," with a specific mention of Kenosha. I'm not a lawyer, but I think if the ad included that soundbite accompanying a photo or clip of a random right-wing demonstrator who didn't participate in violence, the demonstrator would have a libel case. But public figures need to demonstrate "actual malice" in order to win libel cases, and Rittenhouse in 2020 seems to have been a "limited-purpose public figure," someone who (as noted here) "voluntarily injects himself or herself into a public controversy." However, a judge might not agree.
I assume Rittenhouse is now under the wing of professional Republican agitators who'll want him to sue, or at least threaten a lawsuit, ideally at a time when it will have maximum electoral impact. I'm guessing that would be just before the 2022 midterms, because a party can win a midterm election if it has the more motivated voter base, and this will help rally the base around their shared hatred of The Enemy (us).
I assume the suit (or the tease) will coincide with the publication of Rittenhouse's inevitable book -- look for that sometime next year.