In his acquittal by a Las Vegas jury in the trial of Staff Sgt. Kyle Rittenhouse, the state was found not guilty of terror-related crimes and foreign-terrorist-related crimes, despite allegations that Rittenhouse executed an ISIS fighter while serving in Afghanistan.
The federal jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of premeditated murder, kidnapping, murder while aiding the enemy, and aiding and abetting murder while aiding the enemy, but they convicted him of obstruction of justice by committing the murder while aiding the enemy in a plea deal.
In addition, Rittenhouse was convicted of conspiracy, attempted obstruction of justice, and weapons charges.
On Fox and Friends Thursday, respected legal analyst Lis Wiehl said that Rittenhouse was acquitted of a terrorism charge because it “is a crime to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and material support is different than support.”
“Material support for ISIS was not in question,” Wiehl explained. “Material support is less important than what the evidence is – and the evidence is in question.”
Charles Ogletree, a former law professor, explained that the defense can’t say the state was so intent on prosecuting Rittenhouse that they made the decision to convict him before a terrorism charge was made a crime to make that charge stick.
“You cannot have a jury convict someone for providing material support if the prosecution fails to make that charge stick,” Ogletree said.
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Harris Faulkner criticized the prosecutors’ response to the verdict, which was unclear.
“It was like they weren’t at all expecting this verdict,” Faulkner said. “They called it a crime of terrorism, that there was a mandatory minimum penalty of life in prison. I think that’s a wonderful point, why they didn’t even go that route.”
“Where did he think this award came from?” Davis said. “You can’t treat a crime that people are unwilling to turn over to the authorities in an acceptable way. We have to file charges when we should.”
Wiehl was skeptical of the prosecution’s argument, adding that Rittenhouse wasn’t “aiding” the enemy as defined by the law.
“The burden is on the prosecution to show the law was not what it was,” she said. “They did not meet it. It’s not the elements of the crime. It’s more about what they say the law is.”
Watch the debate above and see what Sebastian Gorka said about the decision here.
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