News & Politics

Defense Claims the FBI Is Hiding More Spy Video in Rittenhouse Trial

During the first day of testimony in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, an FBI special agent testified out of public view about a spy video taken above the Kenosha riots on Aug. 25, 2020. The thermal imaging video, given over to defense attorneys in the month before trial, purports to show wrongdoing by the 17-year-old shooter. But high-definition and apparently other versions of the video have suddenly become unavailable to watch.

PJ Media reported on the surveillance video, which shows Rittenhouse being chased and lunged at by the first man he eventually shot.

In court Tuesday, courtroom cameras were turned off to protect the identity of FBI Special Agent Brandon Cramin, who was in charge of the surveillance that night. Newspaper scribes noted that his “testimony was meant simply to provide the basis for Binger’s expected later use of the video, which he has said will show that Rittenhouse chased Rosenbaum and had some kind of confrontation before the tables turned and Rosenbaum chased him,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

If, as prosecutors claim, the dynamics were the other way around, where is that video?

Prosecutors argued that the defense was given hours of video from the FBI fixed-wing aircraft running surveillance over the riots and that any defense questions about it now are “faux outrage,” but the Sentinel reported that defense attorney Mark Richards believes that high definition versions of the video have been withheld.

Richards asked for “details about the camera’s resolution and other technical aspects of the operation that Cramin said he didn’t know.” He also demanded to know the tail number of the craft.

“I can’t believe the FBI is doing surveillance of multiple homicides and gets rid of the video. That’s preposterous,” Richards said.

The jury was then sent out and Richards pressed the issue declaring, “the defense needs it to refine its records request from FBI, which has so far rebuffed its attempts to access ‘the rest’ of the video, at one point telling them it no longer exists.”

The judge tersely threatened the prosecutor, saying, “I can strike all the testimony if there’s going to be this cloak and dagger stuff.” And he erupted when he found out that the prosecution doesn’t have control over the video.

As I reported at PJ Media, the limited FBI video released earlier showed Rittenhouse being hunted down by Rosenbaum.

Use-of-force defense attorney and subject matter expert Andrew Branca says the video shown in court doesn’t help the prosecution much at all.

[T]his is hardly anything resembling proof beyond a reasonable doubt on this point, as there are obvious explanations for the movement of Rittenhouse that have nothing to do with any particular intent towards Rosenbaum. A great many people were moving along the sidewalk from right to left by that Car Source parking lot, in part attracted by the large group of people on the left edge of the lot engaged in the violent destruction of lot vehicles parked there. Indeed, there’s no evidence whatever that Rittenhouse had any particular intent towards Rosenbaum at that point, or even knew that Rosenbaum, in particular, was ahead of him.

It appears that the dispute over the missing FBI video will take place another day. The judge ordered the prosecutor to move on to their next witness.