Joyce Vance, an MSNBC legal analyst, and former Obama appointee as a US Attorney, was palpably peeved by the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. Commenting on it on MTP Daily today, Vance offered an absurd analogy.
"This strikes me as an odd situation for self-defense. It's something akin to saying that if you go in a bank and rob it and people are trying to apprehend you, you can shoot your way out and claim self-defense. That's a little bit what Kyle Rittenhouse did. He created this problem, and then proceeded to threaten people to get out. Typically you can't claim self-defense in a situation where you've provoked the incident."
Vance obviously bought the prosecution's provocation argument. But that was something the prosecution came up with late--too late--in the game, and only then presented sketchy evidence in support. As Danny Cevallos, another MSNBC legal analyst pointed out, provocation was such an afterthought that the prosecution mentioned provocation "exactly 0.0 times" in their opening statement.
Cevallos said that it wasn't a case of a poor prosecution. The problem for the prosecution was that it had "poor facts." The jury obviously agreed with that!
Note: This is not the first time that Cevallos has shown admirable independence from MSNBC's liberal party line. Back in 2019, we noted Cevallos opining that Roe v. Wade was "ripe to be overturned" because "even if you are pro-choice, the right to privacy [upon which Roe was based] does not exist either in the history or the text of the Constitution." Cevallos also said that Roe "stands on a weak foundational basis."
Here's the transcript.
1:25 pm ET
JOYCE VANCE: The defense, as we say, was good enough. And the key point of the defense was arguing self-defense. As a former prosecutor, this strikes me as an odd situation for self-defense.
It's something akin to saying that if you go in a bank and rob it and people are trying to apprehend you, you can then shoot your way out and claim self-defense. That's a little bit what Kyle Rittenhouse did. He created this problem, and then he proceeded to threaten people to get out. Typically you can't claim self-defense in a situation where you've provoked the incident.
CHUCK TODD: Danny, same question to you. Was this an easy defense, poor prosecution, friendly judge, tough? What's your sense.
DANNY CEVALLOS: There's no such thing as an easy defense. And it's not so much that it was a poor prosecution, but really poor facts for the prosecution. So here, the prosecution, it can't be said that they weren't aggressive. In fact, it's their aggressiveness that almost got them in a lot of trouble. They almost crossed several different lines. So in this case, the prosecution did their best, but they didn't have particularly good facts. The defense did a good job, because an acquittal on all counts is a good job no matter how you paint it.