Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen on trial for killing two people at a Black Lives Matter protest last year in Wisconsin, might make a good congressional intern and said his office may reach out to see if he wanted to help the country “in additional ways.”
“He is not guilty. He deserves a not guilty verdict, and I sure hope he gets it because you know what, Kyle Rittenhouse would probably make a pretty good congressional intern,” Gaetz said on the right-wing network Newsmax. “We may reach out to him and see if he’d be interested in helping the country in additional ways.”
Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020, after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by a white Kenosha police officer.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, said he traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha to protect property from rioters. He was armed with an AR-15-style rifle when he shot the three men at a demonstration.
The jury began deliberations on Tuesday. The most serious charge against him, first-degree intentional homicide, carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Gaetz is no stranger to legal troubles himself. The congressman is under investigation as part of a sex trafficking probe that led to the arrest and plea deal of his reported wingman, Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector.