The judge presiding over Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial is a "racist' who's "putting his thumb on the scale in every way possible" in favor of the defendant, according to MSNBC legal analyst Elie Mystal.
Mystal, an attorney who serves as the Nation magazine's justice correspondent, said Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder has "a history of disregarding civil rights information and rulings."
"If you look at his specific history in this case, all of his pretrial motions tended to favor Kyle Rittenhouse, even leading up to this trial, and then certainly his behavior in the trial as the presiding officer of the trial, has just been grotesque in terms of his combativeness with the prosecution, his willingness to let the defense slide on many issues, his American flag tissue box, his cell phone ringtone that is actually the same song that is played at the beginning of Trump rallies," Mystal said.
"It's never just one thing," he added. "It's not just one issue or one decision. I'm not saying one plus one equals two. I'm saying one plus one plus one plus one plus one equals five, and while you can try to defend any individual decision, when you look at the totality of his actions, what you have is a racist, biased judge who is putting his thumb on the scale in every way he can for the defense and for Rittenhouse in this case."
Host Jason Johnson responded by noting that if a judge's ringtone played a "Black Lives Matter anthem," people would likely take issue, but Schroeder is "getting away with it."
Johnson also played a clip of Schroeder's inappropriate comment from Thursday about "Asian food" coming for lunch.
"Who actually says that?" Johnson said. "This sort of speaks to what you're talking about. It's this sort of off-color, insensitive racist commentary."
Unfortunately, Mystal told Johnson there's not much that can be done.
"The judge is the king of his or her own courtroom," Mystal said, adding that even if the prosecution sought a mistrial, it would be up to Schroeder to decide whether he's too biased to conduct the proceeding fairly.
"Once you draw a biased, prejudiced judge in our state court system, there is very little you can do about it, and quite frankly, every African-American attorney I know, knows that," Mystal said. "I don't know that this prosecution team was ready to deal with fighting not just Rittenhouse's defense lawyers, but also the judge. It's a huge problem."
Elie Mystal on Rittenhouse judge www.youtube.com