One of the attorneys for 17-year-old accused murderer Kyle Rittenhouse sent a letter on Friday demanding that the Biden campaign immediately retract and correct statements made in a video posted to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s social media account on Wednesday.
In a three-page letter to the Biden campaign’s general counsel and national campaign manager, Attorney L. Lin Wood alleged that Rittenhouse was the victim of “false and defamatory accusations” arguing that the “publication of a video identifying Kyle as and placing him in the false light of a ‘white supremacist’ or member of a ‘militia group.’”
The campaign video was based on President Donald Trump’s response to a question during Tuesday night’s presidential debate, during which Trump failed to clearly and unequivocally condemn “white supremacists and militia groups.” The Biden video features audio of debate moderator Chris Wallace asking Trump, “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?”
A still image of Rittenhouse appears just as Wallace mentions Kenosha—the city where Rittenhouse admittedly shot and killed 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum.
The letter, sent two days after Wood threatened to sue the campaign on behalf of his client, erroneously claimed that there was no debate as to whether Rittenhouse’s use of deadly force was unlawful.
“The political use [sic] this photo of a 17-year-old boy under attack – and it is undisputed that he only used his weapon in self-defense against multiple attackers – as a prop to advance Mr. Biden’s long-denied political ambitions is reprehensible,” Wood wrote, adding that “it is actionable as well.”
An armed Rittenhouse traveled from his Illinois home to Kenosha in late August, two days after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by police. Protests and violence followed.
According to Wood, Rittenhouse made the trip “to render medical aid,” adding, “he did not go there to create any violence and he only acted in self-defense.”
“There is no evidence whatsoever that Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist either, and he is not. Your client nonetheless acted negligently and recklessly without any regard for the truth by publishing his misleading, false, and defamatory campaign video and besmirching this young man with what is currently the most offensive epithet that can be applied to anyone in civil society merely to achieve tawdry political points on social media,” the letter said.
Wood demanded a retraction, correction, and apology from the campaign, also directing them to “preserve any and all evidence” related to the defamation accusations.
Read the full letter below:
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) October 2, 2020
[image via ABC7 screengrab]
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