TOC Ready Room 20 Nov 2021: Rittenhouse, an odd-duck judge: Checking in on the rule of law

Judicial proceedings and the health thereof.

The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was rendered on Friday 19 November, by a courageous jury that ruled on the evidence and not on the prosecution’s or the media’s false narrative.

Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five counts, meaning the jury understood fully that he was acting in self-defense.  As numerous commentators said on Friday, this was obvious to anyone who actually watched the trial.

Not only did the evidence, including prosecution witness testimony, make it clear that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense; the prosecution exposed itself repeatedly as outright lying about the evidence.  It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.  (Note:  I wasn’t watching the trial live.  I was catching up with salient passages via video clips and commentary.  Even that exercise was surreal, as I could see the prosecution showing video of the event and claiming it showed the opposite of what it manifestly showed in reality.)

The prosecution was also reprimanded by the judge for violating long-established case law on the defendant’s rights, and was credibly accused by the defense of withholding evidence.

The prosecution also made the appalling argument that people coming under attack, as Rittenhouse did in August 2020, should be prepared to just take a beating (e.g., be hit in the head with a skateboard, be kicked in the head, have guns aimed at them by assailants, with who knows what outcome) rather than defend themselves with firearms.

Both the prosecution and the media defamed Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist,” a claim for which no evidence whatsoever was advanced.  Even President Biden labeled the 18-year-old that way.

The media fanned the flames of a completely false narrative that Rittenhouse had crossed state lines with a gun in order to hunt down black people and kill them.  (The men who attacked him, whom he shot in self-defense, were all white.)

He did none of that.  Meanwhile, video evidence – the prosecution’s own evidence – showed that he was, in fact, chased and attacked by the men he ultimately shot in self-defense.  The man who provoked that reaction by pulling a gun on Rittenhouse testified himself, in court, to having pulled the gun on him.

It was that witness, Gaige Grosskreutz, who made it clear he (Grosskreutz) pulled his gun and aimed it at Rittenhouse, and only then did Rittenhouse fire his own gun.

Now, was it wise or prudent for a then 17-year-old Rittenhouse to be at the scene of a riot the night of 25 August 2020?  My opinion, stated multiple times, has always been no.  I don’t say there are no circumstances under which it could have been appropriate, but I do think a 17-year-old needs responsible adult supervision for such an expedition, and there needs to be a plan of group operation in which single individuals don’t find themselves alone and vulnerable.

That’s what NCOs are for in the armed forces, in which 17-year-olds can serve.  It’s what fathers are for in a civil defense situation like the one Rittenhouse was trying to approximate.  (He had gone to Kenosha to render aid to people being victimized by the violent rioting that was burning and vandalizing the city.)

Regardless of the situation, however, there is no justification for what his assailants were trying to do to him, and he had the right of self-defense.  If not Rittenhouse, it could have been a 35-year-old man just trying to defend, say, his wife or mother, or render aid to an innocent bystander.  As the riots of 2020 showed, it could easily have been a black man who came under attack from the rioters.

After the verdict, Bruce Bawer made the point at American Greatness that “Kyle Rittenhouse Is America.”  In saying Rittenhouse is a model of American youth, I suspect Bawer will lose some readers who otherwise agree that the young man had a right to self-defense.

Read the piece and see what you think.  No one actually argues that any of this was a great idea or something America should seek to encourage more of.  The deaths in Kenosha are nothing to be applauded, by any means.  But the central problem here wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse.  The central problem was the riots, and the failure of city and state authorities to deal with them.

For me, the Bawer headline set up a different train of thought.  Seeing those words – “Kyle Rittenhouse is America” – my immediate reaction was that, yes, he just wanted what ordinary Americans want, and he’s been treated by his government and the media the way America is now routinely, unceasingly treated.

Ordinary Americans want to be able to live life in their cities without being accused of ideologically defined “crimes” that are used to justify destroying their businesses, public spaces, and even homes.  They imagine they should be able to move about in their cities without coming under attack from arsonists, vandals, and violent assailants who smash in the windows of cars with children and old people inside.

Armed civilians protect a gas station in Kenosha, WI from rioters in Aug 2020. Twitter video, @ShelbyTalcott

And Americans’ governments and media have shown over the last year and a half that too many of them – government, media – are in league with the violent attackers to keep the destruction and accusation going.

America has the right to defend herself against these attacks, as Kyle Rittenhouse had the right to defend himself the night of 25 August 2020.  In that sense, Kyle Rittenhouse is America.

One last point, which requires emphasis and repetition.  The day has not been won yet.  The jury made the right decision, to uphold U.S. law and the right of self-defense.  But the prosecution that lied and deceived its way through a trial has yet to be dealt with.  Biased, unconstitutional prosecution is a poison that will take the country down if something isn’t done about that.  It cannot stand.

Next time it may not be so clear, to the jury and everyone else who actually looks at direct coverage of the trial, that the prosecution is making a deceptive case in pursuit of an evil outcome.  The American people cannot – must not – be misgoverned in such a manner.

The Chutkan Challenge

Interestingly, the second topic here also comes from an earlier article (14 November) at American Greatness.  This one is by Lloyd Billingsley, and it’s about Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Chutkan is catching the cases of the 6 January defendants, on whose alleged deeds she has written with lockstep ideological bias.  Billingsley points out that she also got the case of Imran Awan, one of the Pakistani-American family who engaged in a number of highly questionable actions from 2004 to 2017, when they were entrusted (in spite of a lack of relevant training) with supervision of the House Democrats’ computer network.

In this Ready Room brief, I mainly want to highlight the previous article I published about Chutkan in August 2018, as I believe its findings are enduringly relevant.  The appointment of Chutkan (by Obama) to her spot on the federal bench came about in a remarkable way that probably couldn’t be replicated for the next 100 years.  The existence of a technical vacancy was basically created, using a special situation, long enough for Chutkan to be appointed, and then the departed official through whom the vacancy had been generated returned to the court.

Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Wikipedia

Please read about it at the link.  It seems quite odd, with that history, that Chutkan got the Awan case, and the Russiagate-linked Maria Butina case, and is now getting the 6 January cases.

There’s something else of interest about the Awan case (besides the fact that Congress paid the Awans $850,000 afterward, in a quiet transaction reported by the New York Times in November 2020.  See Billingsley).

The point of interest I refer to is the preponderance of U.S. representatives from Florida who have been most closely involved with the Awans’ employment in Congress and the arrangements made for them.  The best known is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who went so far as to threaten the U.S. Capitol Police, in something of a screaming fit, when they were investigating the case in 2017 using a laptop left by an Awan in a disused phone nook in the Capitol complex.  Wasserman Schultz wanted the USCP to stop the investigation and give her the laptop, pronto.

Imran Awan had Wasserman Schultz’s user account access information and made extensive use of it, including for months after he and the other Awans had ceased formal employment with the House Democrats.  (Journalist Luke Rosiak is the canonical reporter on the Awan case; you can start with his Daily Caller series, which a search should bring up handily, and also consult his 2019 book Obstruction of Justice.)

But as Billingsley recounts, the only congressman who made a public comment about the $850,000 payment to the Awans was Ted Deutch, another Florida representative.  Deutch represents District 22, adjacent to and just north of Wasserman Schultz’s District 23, which together cover an area that starts in Broward County and extends north.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz threatens Capitol Police for investigating still-unexplained cyber breach of Hill Democrats. (Screen grab)

The first congressman to hire the Awans, in January 2004, was Rep. Robert Wexler of what was then Florida District 19.  District 19 at the time – the districts have been redrawn since – occupied much the same area as the juncture of 22 and 23 today, running from Broward northward into Palm Beach County.  Wexler served from 1997 to 2010, resigning during his term in 2010 to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.

Ted Deutch was elected to finish Wexler’s term, and has continued to be reelected from the area since, both before and after the redistricting that put him in District 22 (which became effective in 2013).

The Democratic U.S. representatives from just north of Miami have thus had a notable connection to the Awans since the family first obtained employment on Capitol Hill.

Regarding this next, final point, I have no idea if there is a link.  It’s not something that can reasonably be investigated relying solely on Web resources.  So I don’t assert a link here; it’s just a point that would be worth tracking down.

In researching a fairly lengthy article from April 2020, I discovered some details about the notorious, Pakistani- and Saudi-funded Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), in which Jimmy Carter official (and Clinton connection) Bert Lance – among others – had an interest going back to the 1970s.  One of the details is that BCCI had Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega as a client in the 1980s.

Noriega was implicated with the Medellin drug cartel in drug-running and money laundering in the U.S., and he, along with cartel members and BCCI bank officers, was convicted of federal crimes in the U.S. District Court for Southern Florida, which sits in Miami.

The bank official who tended the Noriega account – at BCCI’s Miami branch in Florida – was a Pakistani named Amjad Awan.  Again, I have no idea if that’s related to the Awans who later obtained their peculiar employment situation on Capitol Hill.  Awan is a common name in Pakistan and there appear to be multiple Awan clans.

Manuel Noriega escorted by DEA agents on USAF airlift after his surrender in January 1990. Wikipedia, USAF

It’s interesting to note that Amjad Awan was sentenced in 1990 to 12 years in U.S. federal prison.  I’ve been unable to track down a release date for Awan, but it was in January 2004 that Robert Wexler hired the first Awan to handle the IT network for Democrats in the House.

As noted in that April 2020 piece, BCCI also funneled funding to Pakistani A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation network, of which a prominent client was Muammar Gadhafi.  In another arresting turn of events, as recounted in a December 2019 article (very long; suggest a word search on “Khan”), Gadhafi revealed his nuclear program in December 2003 and suddenly began cooperating with UN investigators at that time.  Also in 2003, a laptop with information indicating a link between A.Q. Khan and the Iranian nuclear program was obtained by Western intelligence.

A.Q. Khan was arrested in Pakistan in early February 2004.  It was during the period of those various developments, in January 2004, that Imran Awan, at the age of 23 and with no IT experience, was hired to manage IT operations for House Democrats by Robert Wexler.

Imran Awan with Bill Clinton (Image via Facebook)

Feature image: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Felix Garza Jr. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

5 thoughts on “TOC Ready Room 20 Nov 2021: Rittenhouse, an odd-duck judge: Checking in on the rule of law”

  1. Can you please update my email from to The old email address still works but only for a while. Thank you, daniel stecher

    On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 2:57 PM The Optimistic Conservative wrote:

    > theoptimisticconservative posted: “The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse > trial was rendered on Friday 19 November, by a courageous jury that ruled > on the evidence and not on the prosecution’s or the media’s false > narrative. Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five counts, meaning the > jur” >

    1. Daniel, thank you for your query. WordPress actually controls the subscriber lists, and I don’t have the ability to change an email from my account.

      But you should be able to unsubscribe, and then subscribe again using your new email address. I recommend unsubscribing and then waiting 24 hours to subscribe again, to be sure the “Subscribe” option resumes being live and available for you.

  2. Adding, NYS changed their self-defense law by 2003 from the “right to use deadly physical force if you believe you are about to be assaulted or robbed” (from memory as a juror on a Manhattan manslaughter – by pocket knife – trial in 1988, to a law where you have to have evidence of assault in order to then defend yourself! NYPD explained that to me August 2003, after I was threatened by a petite neighbor, and, the next day, heard same account on WNYC!
    That change is what I thought Binger was trying to impose on Kyle in Wisconsin.

    The Kyle Piñata just got bigger. AFTER the not guilty verdict, Chair of House Judiciary Nadler repeats the ‘armed & crossed state lines’ LIE, and, yes, calls for DoJ:

    2:16 PM · Nov 19, 2021·@RepJerryNadler
    This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest. R/t:

    @nytimes · 3h Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men and wounded another, was found not guilty of intentional homicide and four other felony charges in a deeply divisive case that fed a national debate over vigilantism, gun rights and the definition of self-defense. is a live blog,

    The only source who took Nadler’s tweet seriously:

    Is There a Chorus Building for DOJ to Look Into Possible Federal Charges Against Kyle Rittenhouse? Shipwreckedcrew Nov 20, 2021
    […] And this is what I is fear the messaging might be about: 18 U.S.C. Sec. 239: […] This is the “Shepard Byrd Act Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” […]

    ship has also offered to represent Kyle if DoJ files charges.

    O/T: just read this thread, a r/t by Supply Chain Guru where USDA meat inspectors = chokepoint

    9:13 PM · Nov 18, 2021· @agarthapill
    THREAD – Food Supply Collapse
    My family are currently in positions of plant manager and quality assurance manager in poultry plants. I can say for certain that the current situation is more dire than most people think- and we may see a near total collapse of the food supply.

    My fingers crossed because one grocery chain has it’s own poultry supply chain here in NC.
    In April 2020, when all other markets were chicken-free for weeks after the TP panic – they had mountains of beautiful chicken. And, my anchovies from Morocco stockpile is ok, after one ’empty shelf’ week!

  3. Doesn’t surprise me about NY state.

    Yes, I saw Nadler’s tweet. He’s not the only lawmaker who repeated the outright falsehoods. Gov Pritzker of Illinois did the same thing. I’m sure you saw de Blasio’s tweet also repeating the lies.

    If anchovies from Morocco are your thing, I’m very glad to know they’re available. There’s a frozen entree with gnocchi di patate that I really like that hasn’t been available for months, so I’ve been missing that. There are definitely warnings about the food supply out there. I’m grateful that there’ll be a little Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.

    1. Yes, but, Nadler still chairs House Judiciary Ctte. shipwreckedcrew takes Nadler’s threat seriously.

      The image is from Gulag Archipelago, which describes “self-defense” in 1926 Soviet Union, same as New York State since 2003, and, the replies indicate, more than a few European nations:

      10:52 PM · Nov 21, 2021 James Lindsay, @ConceptualJames
      Solzhenitsyn on self-defense under the Soviet Union. Sound familiar?

      The shortage of USDA meat inspectors choke point can shut down far more of USA supply chain, without an actual ‘supply’ shortage.
      Never understand why you dismiss the content/citations of my posts.

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