The Kyle Rittenhouse trial took a few-second pause Wednesday after a “God Bless The USA” ringtone appeared to go off, with one camera cutting to Judge Bruce Schroeder who appeared to then check his cell phone.
Rittenhouse’s defense was in the middle of making a case for a mistrial when suddenly a ringtone appears to go off for approximately three seconds as the defense becomes quiet. While it is unclear whose phone rang, a camera caught Schroeder then checking his phone and appearing to swipe down on the screen, possibly indicating he turned his phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode.
Judge’s phone goes off in Rittenhouse trial. His ringtone is “Proud to be an American” pic.twitter.com/KmvKJj14A0
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 10, 2021
Rittenhouse’s defense argued Schroeder should declare a mistrial after the prosecution asked several questions that allegedly abridges Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent. (RELATED: Rittenhouse Cries Uncontrollably While Testifying, Trial Pauses)
The defense also argued the prosecution was seeking to provoke a mistrial in order to get another chance at the case.
Prosecutor Thomas Binger questioned Rittenhouse on why he chose to remain silent on the events that transpired on Aug. 25, 2020, following his arrest, with Rittenhouse’s defense arguing his silence is protected by the Fifth Amendment. Schroeder has not yet declared a mistrial but did not take the possibility off the table.
Schroeder did, however, scold the prosecution for the questions, suggesting Binger could be making a “grave constitutional violation” in doing so.
“The problem is, this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence. You’re right on the borderline and you may be over it but it better stop,” the judge said.
Schroeder again scolded Binger moments later over the same issue.
“I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post arrest silence. That’s basic law. It’s been basic law in this country for 40 years, 50 years. I have no idea why you would do something like that.”