Activists, media pundits, and civil rights groups have repeated false allegations after the full acquittal verdict in the homicide trial for Kyle Rittenhouse on Friday, despite legal experts warning of possible defamation lawsuits to come.

Legal counsel for Rittenhouse is "looking into" defamation litigation on behalf of the 18-year-old but has yet to make any filings, a source with information on the matter told the Washington Examiner.

The teenager rebuked President Joe Biden during an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson that aired Monday evening, referencing a campaign video the former candidate shared that linked Rittenhouse to white supremacists.

“Mr. President, if I can say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement,” Rittenhouse said. “It is actual malice and defaming my character for him to say something like that.”

One day after Rittenhouse's acquittal, MSNBC's Tiffany Cross said it was "disgusting" to see members of Congress "celebrate this little murderous white supremacist."

Kentucky-based attorney and defamation expert Todd McMurtry told the Washington Examiner last week that such claims are a "false statement" that could be "legally actionable" in his view.

“The fact that white supremacists roam the halls of Congress freely and celebrate this little murderous white supremacist, and the fact that he gets to walk the streets freely, it lets you know these people have access to instituting laws, they represent the legislative branch of this country,” Cross said Saturday on The Cross Connection. “What are we to make of that?”

According to Robert J. Fisher, a California-based expert witness with more than a decade of experience in a broad range of cases relating to defamation, libel, and slander, Cross's comments could be construed as "defamatory," as the jury already determined Rittenhouse did not shoot to "murder."

"That's defamatory because, as I said, it's a statement — it can be proven or not proven," Fisher told the Washington Examiner on Monday.


Regarding a "white supremacist" label, Fisher said an actionable defamation challenge would be more difficult to prove before a court.

"If they said he's a Ku Klux Klan member, that is a definable, provable fact. Either he is or is not," Fisher said, noting the label "white supremacist" is a description allocated to an opinion.

Rittenhouse, 18, has disavowed racial allegations against him and spoke extensively this weekend about his experience. It was the first time he's spoken publicly since the Aug. 25, 2020, incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when he shot and killed two pursuant protesters, grievously injured one other, and pleaded not guilty as an act of self-defense.

The jury on Friday acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges, ranging from intentional homicide to recklessly endangering safety.

"I support peacefully demonstrating," Rittenhouse said in the interview with Carlson. "I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM [Black Lives Matter] movement," Rittenhouse said, adding he believes "there's a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases."

Following the jury's decision to acquit Rittenhouse, celebrity activist and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tweeted, "We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white supremacist."

The American Civil Liberties Union also penned several paragraphs rebuking the jury's verdict, releasing a press release that features "white supremacy/ supremacist" four times.

When the community in Kenosha "rose up to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, police enabled white supremacist militia members, which helped to spur rank vigilantism," said Brandon Buskey, the director of the ACLU's criminal law reform project.

Media pundits erroneously labeled Rittenhouse with names such as "murderer," a "school shooter," and "vigilante" prior to the trial verdict, with some matter-of-factly stating his guilt in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding of another.

"There is no question [Rittenhouse] suffered reputation damage," Michael Toebe, a reputations and communications specialist based out of Wichita, Kansas, told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.


Nicholas Sandmann, a former Covington Catholic High School student and client of McMurtry who settled defamation suits against the Washington Post and CNN after they mischaracterized his encounter with a protester in 2019, believes Rittenhouse "should sue the media." However, Sandmann added he doesn't think "Kyle’s in the case where he can be making lawsuits just to see what happens.”