Kyle Rittenhouse wounded one and killed two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the summer of 2020 and is currently on trial. He claims to have acted in self defense.
The trial has polarized the nation along partisan lines, with liberals condemning Rittenhouse and calling him a white supremacist, and conservatives defending his actions.
The jury, which began deliberations on Tuesday morning, was told to disregard their opinions.
Before dismissing the jurors, Judge Bruce Schroeder explicitly told them that they must "disregard the claims or opinions of any other person or news media or social networking site."
"You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone, even the president of the United States, or the president before him," Schroeder stressed, as reported by The Independent.
Schroeder's apparent attempts to depoliticize the trial come amid intense criticism that he is biased in Rittenhouse's favor and antagonistic toward the prosecutors.
Biden On Rittenhouse
Biden never explicitly called Rittenhouse a white supremacist, but in September 2020 he posted a video clip to social media that showed Rittenhouse carrying the AR-15 rifle he used to kill two and wound one person.
"There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night," Biden tweeted alongside the video.
Biden's comments resurfaced last week, when the shooter's mother Wendy Rittenhouse said that the Democrat doesn't "know my son," who is "not a white supremacist."
Trump On Rittenhouse
Trump, on the other hand, stated on several occasions that Rittenhouse acted in self defense.
"You saw the same tape as I saw, and he was trying to get away from them. I guess it looks like and he fell and then they very violently attacked him and it was something we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation," he said at a press conference in August 2020.
"I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed. But it’s under investigation," the Republican added.
Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict
The jurors might make their decision as early as today, and some legal experts believe Rittenhouse is all but certain to be declared not guilty.
In a column for the Chicago Sun Times, Mark Brown wrote that he would be "shocked if he’s convicted of anything more than a weapons charge."
"If I were a member of that jury, I expect I would reluctantly vote to acquit Rittenhouse of the most serious homicide charges based on the evidence that he was acting in self-defense," Brown wrote.