St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey, who gained national attention after standing off against Black Lives Matter protesters near his home during the 2020 marches there, told Newsmax Friday's jury verdict finding Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all five counts made it clear that the 18-year-old suspect had acted in self-defense when he killed two people and wounded others during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"You know, it was a complicated set of jury instructions," McCloskey told Newsmax's Michael Carter, live from the scene outside the courthouse Friday afternoon. "It was pretty clear that Kyle acted in self-defense on all counts [and it] just takes a while for the jury to consider these really complicated instructions."
The jury deliberated for almost five days before handing down its verdict, and McCloskey, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri, told Carter he's been outside the courthouse all week and he was concerned because the jury had not been sequestered.
"They had to be somewhat concerned about the intimidation and from the loudness on the steps and all the threats that were being made and all the threats of violence," McCloskey said. "If I was on the jury, I'd be very, very careful, and I guess they were."
McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, pleaded guilty to misdemeanors involving their own weapons charges, and he told Carter Friday that he has been concerned about the protests outside the Kenosha courthouse because of the threats of violence in the high-profile Rittenhouse case.
"They reached a correct verdict, at least in my humble opinion nonetheless, and it's a real success for the jury process, real success for the advocates for the Second Amendment and self-preservation and self-defense, and I could not be more pleased," said McCloskey.
He also said he believes the trial's judge, Bruce Schroeder, "did a good job."
"I'd have done some things differently, but of course I'm not a judge," said McCloskey. " I've been trying lawsuits for 37 years, and I can never predict what the jury's going to do."
The prosecution in the case also withheld vital information, said McCloskey, including about an eyewitness who kicked Rittenhouse during the standoff he'd had with the protesters in Kenosha.
"The prosecution knew about who this man was," he said. "It was negotiating with him and then lied and said they didn't know who he was … the judge displayed remarkable patience. In my opinion, you know if in my experience if any lawyer disobeyed the instructions of the court and disobeyed pretrial orders the way this prosecution did, they'd be threats of civil and criminal contempt."
McCloskey added that he felt "confident" from the first time he saw Rittenhouse on television.
"I said, well, this kid had remarkable composure," said McCloskey. "He wasn't out there looking for a fight, but my gosh, when he got attacked he had the composure to defend himself, and he didn't do anything excessive.
"He didn't start shooting in circles or doing, that kind of stuff that the mainstream media would have you believe. He was composed. He only fired when he was at risk of serious personal injury or death. And he did so with the composure that's admirable for anybody, let alone a 17-year-old young man."
He also said the jury experienced extreme pressure all the way to the White House, where President Joe Biden was calling Rittenhouse a "white supremacist, based on absolutely no evidence."
Earlier in the day, McCloskey told Newsmax's "National Report" that he specifically stayed away from Kenosha until after closing arguments started, as he didn't want to in "any way" affect the outcome.
He also said that he believes the prosecution in the trial was "the worst."
"They seemed to have been intentionally violating Rittenhouse's rights from the get-go," he said.
Even though McCloskey was in Kenosha to support Rittenhouse, he told Newsmax he hadn't spoken with him or his family.
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