Twice during cross-examination, Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the jury to leave the courtroom and then sharply admonished Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger for his line of questioning.
The first incident related to Binger’s questions about Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence, a right solidified in the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.
“The problem is this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence,” Schroeder said. “You’re right on the borderline, and you may be over, but it better stop.”
The second admonishment related to questions about an incident two weeks before the shootings that Schroeder has said would not be permitted to come into evidence.
“Your honor, Mr. Binger is either forgetting court's rulings or attempting to provoke a mistrial in this a matter,” defense attorney Mark Richards told the judge. “He knows he can’t go into this and he’s asking the questions. I ask the court to strongly admonish him and the next time it happens, I will be asking for a mistrial with prejudice. He’s an experienced attorney and he knows better.”
Binger said he believed that incident was newly relevant to the case, but Schroeder criticized him for not asking permission first and affirmed the evidence would not be allowed.
“I apologize, your honor. You're right, I probably should have brought this to your attention earlier. I may have misunderstood your ruling because I thought your ruling was if the evidence in this case made that more relevant, you would admit it or at least considered it's admittance,” Binger said.
Binger said he thought the circumstances would be different because the judge had said he hadn’t heard anything in the trial to change his rulings prior to Rittenhouse’s testimony.
“Don’t get brazen with me,” Schroeder told Binger. “You know very well that an attorney can’t go into these types of areas when the judge has already ruled without asking outside the presence of the jury to do so, so don’t give me that.”