American journalist Tiffany Cross is leading calls for the removal of the judge presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Cross, the host of The Cross Connection on MSNBC, tweeted on Wednesday to ask how Judge Bruce Schroeder could be removed after he berated the prosecution for its conduct during the trial.
“The judge is clearly biased,” Cross wrote on Twitter.
“Honestly, how can this judge be removed?” she asked journalist Elie Mystal, tagging him in a subsequent tweet.
Mystal responded to the MSNBC pundit, saying: “Realistically, he can’t be. He’s elected. Even if he’s disciplined later by the state (which he won’t be) there’s nothing for it for *this* trial. And if he gets off, he can’t be re-tried because of Double Jeopardy. So, like I said two weeks ago, Rittenhouse is gonna walk.”
Cross then quote tweeted Mystal’s reply, saying: “Depressed. Disgusted. But. Not surprised.”
Mr Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators — two of whom died — during a night of unrest, after police shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back in August last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide.
During the trial, Judge Bruce Schroeder slammed prosecutor Thomas Binger for his conduct in the case.
“Why would you think that that made it okay for you without any advance notice to bring this matter before the jury?” the judge shouted at Mr Binger.
“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.”
During the hearing, the judge was also seen leafing through a cookie recipe booklet during a break and, while he was presiding over the trial, his phone rang, revealing his ringtone to be God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood, a song heavily used at rallies headlined by Donald Trump.
The Washington Examiner reported that Judge Schroeder was first appointed to the court in 1983 by Wisconsin governor Anthony Earl, a Democrat. He has been reelected to the court multiple times since then.
A Washington Post story said Judge Schroeder is generally “defence-happy.”
“For a jury trial if you get him, you are happy as a defence attorney,” Michael Cicchini, a criminal defence lawyer in Kenosha, was quoted as saying by the Post.