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Billionaire investor Bill Ackman defends Rittenhouse, calls ‘innocent’ teen a ‘civic-minded patriot’ and says media misled

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Anti-Trump billionaire Bill Ackman has separated himself from most of the liberal, blue-check brigade by backing the self-defense rights of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen who is facing homicide charges in the ongoing nationally watched trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The high-profile hedge-funder also revealed that the politicized, pro-gun control corporate media thought someone was impersonating him on the social media platform after he, among other things, described the 18-year-old as a “civic minded patriot with a history of helping his community as an EMT and fireman in training…and ultimately in volunteering to protect a business during the night of August 25th in Kenosha.”

“Just got a call from the media asking if my Twitter account was hacked. That is, the reporter couldn’t conceive of the idea that I could believe that Kyle is innocent because I am not a right winger. Crazy,” Ackman noted as part of the lengthy thread  on Thursday.

In the postings, the hedge-funder seemed to admit that he and his wife were initially misled by the corporate media’s reporting of what happened during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisc., in August 2020, and that their perceptions changed after sitting down and watching the trial proceedings.

The Rittenhouse defense team made the high-risk decision to put Rittenhouse on the witness stand, which is an unusual strategy in a criminal trial, particularly when the defense appears to be winning.

Moreover, Rittenhouse’s attorneys seldom objected despite argumentative, and some say abusive, cross-examination by the prosecutor. This included improper references to Rittenhouse previously exercising his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, which raised the unlikely possibility of the presiding judge declaring a mistrial

Last night, Neri and I watched several hours of #Kylerittenhouse direct testimony and cross examination. We came away believing that #Kyle is telling the truth and that he acted in self defense…”

“Our first hand impressions of Kyle were materially different from those we had previously formed based on media reports and opinion pieces that we had consumed. I have always been frustrated to read an inaccurate press report about a subject I know well, yet somehow I continue to believe other articles in the same newspaper about subjects I know less well.

“Media and political bias are dividing our country and destroying lives. While we have not heard the entire trial, based on our assessment of Kyle on the stand, we believe that he will be found innocent by the jury.”

The Harvard University graduate then called upon his approximately 350,000 Twitter followers to watch what is occurring in the courtroom, rather than relying on partisan secondary sources, before drawing any conclusions about Rittenhouse’s guilt or innocence.

After extensive wrangling over the precise wording of jury instructions on Friday, the trial picks up on Monday morning with closing arguments by the prosecution and the defense.

“With respect to my own political bias, I am not a gun owner, nor a member of the NRA. On balance, I support stronger gun regulations and removing loopholes in the sale of guns. Unfortunately it seems that society’s view of #kyle ‘s innocence depends more on one’s views about gun control rather than on what actually took place last August,” Ackman explained about his personal views about firearms.

“Kyle Rittenhouse’s life is at risk. Justice demands a fair trial. Society would benefit greatly if politics did not enter the court room and convict innocent people,” the Pershing Square Capital Management founder and CEO concluded.

Parenthetically, you may recall Ackman had waged a highly publicized battle with the Herbalife multi-level marketing company.

After the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, Ackman demanded ex-President Trump’s resignation. He was also a lockdown advocate at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“[M]any experts expect it will either end in acquittal or mistrial,” the Daily Mail claimed. Self-defense attorney Andrew Branca has thoroughly detailed, however, that getting Judge Bruce Schroeder to agree to a “provocation” instruction was a big win for the prosecution.

…The self-defense-based defense narratives on each of the use-of-force charges against Kyle are all very robust, and not readily subject to disproof beyond a reasonable doubt. Without provocation, the State would have found itself facing inevitable defeat attacking the core self-defense justification on any of those charges.

By winning the provocation instruction, however, the State has the potential to now simply upend the trial chessboard, and sweep away all those self-defense pieces so favorably positioned for the defense. Why? Because under the doctrine of provocation, the provocateur simply doesn’t qualify for the legal defense of self-defense at all…

Robert Jonathan

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