- GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a bill this week to award Kyle Rittenhouse with a Congressional Gold Medal.
- Rittenhouse was recently found not guilty after he fatally shot two people last summer during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- Far-right figures have rallied around Rittenhouse and celebrated him as a “hero.”
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a bill this week to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who was recently found not guilty of murder after he fatally shot two people and injured a third during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer.
Greene introduced the bill on Tuesday, along with a summary that read: “To award a Congressional Gold Medal to Kyle H. Rittenhouse, who protected the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020.”
A Congressional Gold Medal is the highest award Congress can bestow on individuals for distinguished achievements. Past recipients include President George Washington, civil rights activist Rosa Parks and South African leader Nelson Mandela.
Greene’s bill is highly unlikely to advance given the Democratic-controlled House and Senate.
Besides the legislation, Greene came to Rittenhouse’s defense in a tweet on Monday, in which she attacked her former attorney Lin Wood, alleging he mistreated Rittenhouse during a short stint as his lawyer.
“Lin should go to jail for what he did to Kyle,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted.
Wood rose to prominence last year as a pro-Trump lawyer who spread conspiracy theories in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
A jury last week acquitted Rittenhouse of five charges related to the deadly shootings. He had pleaded not guilty and testified that he opened fire against the individuals out of self-defense.
Greene adds to the growing chorus of far-right figures who have praised the verdict, rallying around Rittenhouse and celebrating him as a “hero.”
“May Kyle and his family now live in peace. Those who help, protect, and defend are the good guys. Kyle is one of good ones,” Greene tweeted last week after the verdict was announced.
Other Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, have expressed interest in having Rittenhouse intern at their congressional offices.
Rittenhouse also recently visited former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump described him as a “really a nice young man” in an interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
Some conservatives have called on President Joe Biden to publicly apologize to Rittenhouse after he was briefly featured in a 2020 campaign video in which Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups. During an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday, Rittenhouse accused Biden of “defaming” him.
Biden reacted to the verdict last week, telling reporters: “I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it.”
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” Biden followed up in a written statement. “I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law.”