After avoiding a potential life behind bars, Kyle Rittenhouse left Kenosha’s court a free man to pursue a possible life whether it be nursing, politics, or his relative anonymity.
But his acquittal of first-degree premeditated murder may not end his legal woes as a battle rages over who will get $2 million for bail, and his case is referred to the Justice Department for possible federal charges.
Immediately after the sentencing, defense attorney Mark Richards said Mr. Rittenhouse would likely leave Wisconsin, move to a new territory, and disappear into obscurity as intense national media interest ebbed.
“He has to get on with his life as best he can. I think eventually some anonymity will come back to him. I don’t think he will continue to live in this area. I think it’s very dangerous, he had a guard,” Mr. Richards said out of court. 24 hours after that happened.
What Rittenhouse did next is focus speculation among observers like The View hosts Anna Navarro and Sonny Houston, who recently agreed he could “end up in Congress” if a jury finds he acted in self-defense.
Immediately after the jury verdict suggested just that, Republican lawmakers wrestled to give Rittenhouse a spot on their team.
In an Instagram comment celebrating the ruling, Representative Madison Cawthorne wrote: “Kyle, if you want an internship contact me.”
Cawthorne will have to line up behind Matt Gaetz, who preempted the jury’s decision the day before to say Rittenhouse would be a “very good” intern in Congress.
“We may reach out to him and see if he’s interested in helping the country in additional ways,” Gates said during an interview with Newsmax.
He will have to fight Paul Gosar, who threatened training in Congress with a fight. “I will wrestle @mattgaetz to get Debs for Kyle as a trainee,” he said in a tweet.
Gates’ office did not respond to whether a formal offer had been made. But Mr Rittenhouse’s spokesman predicted a quieter life for the former lifeguard and police student.
David Hancock told Fox6 after the ruling that Rittenhouse was a “fresh start” and would go to college to be an “18-year-old”.
“He is studying prerequisites at ASU for nursing and will continue to do so, and we will do everything we can to make sure he can lead a normal life moving forward as much as possible,” Hancock said.
“Everything that has been said about him, everything that has been reported, it is not true. This will continue. All this nonsense. He has a new normal. This will definitely be a new normal for him. But you will definitely see some things from young Cale here through the years. the next few.”
Mr. Rittenhouse first revealed that he was studying at Arizona State University while testifying. University spokesman Jay Thorne confirmed to state press that he is enrolled as a non-degree-seeking ASU online student in course B for the semester, which began October 13.
Mr. Rittenhouse will have to go through an admissions process once he completes the online course, which Mr. Thorne said allows students to take credit transfer courses or prerequisites for programs at ANU.
A jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges
Whether he pursues a nursing degree at ANU’s Edson School of Nursing and Health Innovation or accepts an offer of training in Congress, he could be swayed by the outcome of another potential court case advocated by Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler.
New York Congressman Attorney General Merrick Garland has called for a federal review by the Justice Department.
“Justice cannot tolerate armed people crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment protected protest,” Nadler said in a tweet on Twitter, despite the fact that Rittenhouse was not armed. The court also dropped the misdemeanor charge of possession of a weapon.
Further politicization of Rittenhouse seems almost certain. Republican strategist Greg Keeler told Politico that Rittenhouse could become a featured speaker at conservative events and that the CPAC’s invitation “wouldn’t surprise me.”
“I think there will be every effort to turn him into a conservative champion,” Keeler said. “I think given the situation he found himself in, it seems that what he did was justified – but I would stop making him a champ, a 17-year-old who found himself in that situation.”
If the opportunity to speak, Mr. Rittenhouse may accept the invitation. His spokesman, Mr Hancock, hinted that he would not remain silent for long about the events of the past year.
“I think you are going to see some good things that come out of Kyle in the future because he is a very practical young man who has been through a lot and there are a lot of parts of this case that touch every issue,” Mr. Hancock said.
“He is very pragmatic about what has happened over the past year. He has a few things to say and I think you will be more surprised who Kyle actually is as more people get to know him better.”
Mr. Rittenhouse was encouraged to use his court-ordered innocence to sue him for defamation after a year in which the teen was branded an active shooter, racist, white supremacist and worse.
Nicholas Sandman, a former Kentucky high school student who successfully settled a defamation lawsuit with CNN after a video with a Native American activist went viral in 2019, urged Mr. Rittenhouse to take his own legal action against the media.
“With Kyle’s name being dragged into the mud, and the apparent impact it is having on him, many are beginning to ask the question of whether Kyle should sue for defamation,” Mr. Sandman wrote in. daily mail.
“While I am by no means a lawyer, I have had some experience with the ins and outs of defamation and can make an informed guess as to what the outcome would be if Kyle sued.”
A year after setting up a criminal defense, starting a civil suit to prosecute his critics will require more fundraising.
Most online fundraising platforms have taken down pages for Rittenhouse after the Kenosha shooting, despite allowing his attackers to remain active.
After the acquittal was found, GoFundMe released a statement that Mr. Rittenhouse is now allowed to use its site.
“Once Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with a violent crime in 2020, GoFundMe has removed the fundraising that began for the legal defense of the accused,” she said in a statement.
“If someone is acquitted of these charges, as happened today at Rittenhouse, a fundraising campaign subsequently initiated for their legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy.”
Despite raising more than $2 million since the trial began, Wendy Rittenhouse has sent fundraising emails on her son’s behalf saying the legal fees in November alone will be $110,000.
The Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund, better known as FreeKyleUSA, announced in June that it had raised $464,111.
Richards, the defense attorney, said half a million dollars raised by FreeKyleUSA were among the $2 million in bonds for Rittenhouse that the state will now return.
“I expect there will be a fight about that,” said Mr. Richards.
“[Lawyer] John Pearce is the person who published the bond. All of that money was collected on Cale’s behalf. Lynn Wood and Fightback said they deserved it.”
The $2 million bond was posted by a cashier’s check from law firm Pierce Bainbridge from donations to the #FightBackFoundation, which was raised through donations including cash from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and actor Ricky Schroeder.
Under Wisconsin law, the bond will be returned to the person who sent the bond, Mr. Bainbridge.
Wood, the notorious Trump-supporting MAGA-hat lawyer who faces possible impeachment over cases against the 2020 election, wrote in an email in February calling for it to be returned to #FightBack.
The looming legal controversy over this $2 million check may be the most urgent next step in the Rittenhouse case. While Mr. Richards won’t be a part of that fight, he’s relieved that Rittenhouse’s next fight won’t be on the Court of Appeals.
“I’m just grateful that there will be a fight about that because, if he lost, it wouldn’t matter,” said Mr Richards.