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Where Are the Kyle Rittenhouse Prosecutors Now? : Opinion

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Kenosha Prosecutors James Kraus (D) and T. Clair Binger (D)
(File Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Many people want to know. Where are the Kyle Rittenhouse prosecutors now? Most legal professionals and folks with common sense agree – the prosecutors couldn’t convict Kyle Rittenhouse. They didn’t have a chance. That didn’t stop James Kraus and T. Clair Binger from trying their best. They also broke rules including mentioning Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence, talking about things barred in pre-trial hearings, and more. Even with the cheating, they lost. We told you about how their first trials after Rittenhouse’s trial were both failures. KCE spoke with multiple jurors who told us they didn’t trust T. Clair Binger. Many predicted these two would go elsewhere…soon. They were right. Their credibility is shot.

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There is a mass exodus at the Kenosha County DA’s office. There are at least six brand new prosecutors, most with little to no experience. DA Mike Graveley’s Deputy DA, Carli McNeill is Graveley’s right-hand woman. She is a far-left progressive prosecutor that believes in second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chances for violent criminals. She announced to her office that she will be running for DA in 2024. She is said to be running as a Republican, however. Just like we saw in the Sheriff’s race, Ray Rowe (D) ran as a Republican because you can’t win a county-wide race as a Democrat anymore. If you are a progressive, soft-on-crime voter, Carli McNeill is your woman. Just remember though, on the ballot, there will be a (R) next to her name.

James Kraus

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KCE learned that Kenosha Assistant District attorney James Kraus has resigned from the DA’s office. His last week is upon us. We asked him where he was going in an email and he ignored us. He lives in Milwaukee County so we won’t likely see him any more. His wife, Emily Trigg, left the DA’s office last year also.

T. Clair Binger

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Binger is still an active prosecutor in Kenosha. That isn’t to say he isn’t desperate to leave. He has been and is currently looking for a new job. He ran unsuccessfully for DA in Racine and got defeated handily. Recently, he had applied to the Racine City Council to be appointed Municipal Court Judge. After an interview, 0 out of 15 Aldermen voted for Binger. During his opening statement, he said:

Racine City Attorney: And Mr. Binger please briefly introduce yourself tell us why you would like to be appointed City of Racine Municipal Judge. Remember that the Alderpersons have your resume and letter of interest.

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T. Clair Binger: Thank you Mr. Letteney. Mr. Mayor, Mr. Chairman. It’s tough to go last after all these uh well-qualified individuals so I’ll just kind of try and hit the highlights. I graduated from a top 10 law school – University of Michigan Law School. I’ve been an attorney for 22 years and I’ve been doing litigation that entire time. I’ve done almost 100 jury trials as a criminal prosecutor and as a civil litigator. The highlights of my legal career include arguing a child welfare case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and winning a unanimous decision that helped abused and neglected kids to be adopted into forever homes. In private practice here in Racine I went on over a $500,000 jury verdict for a local real estate developer to help their business represent a lot of small businesses in our area and as a criminal prosecutor I have successfully convicted and put in prison murderers, rapists, drug dealers, drunk drivers, and all sorts of violent offenders. So I feel that my legal career is a very varied and very strong legal career which is centered completely around being in court. As a prosecutor in some ways you are a judge in the sense that every case that comes into the system – you’re the first person to take a look at it and decide what should happen – whether that person should be charged, what charges you should seek, ultimately what sort of plea recommendation you’re going to make if that person decides to plead guilty. Prosecutors have almost complete discretion – they’re the ones who decide and there’s really no one other than the voters at the election box who can overturn their decisions. So, every day I have people come before me cases that come to me where I’m determining uh someone’s fate which is very similar to the role a judge plays and I make that decision without worrying about their race, without worrying about their color, their sexual orientation, their religion, their nationality, or any of those decisions I make it based on a fair and impartial review of the facts and a decision as to what I think is best. I chose to come here to Racine 13 years ago and raised my family here – much as many of you chose to come here or your parents chose to came come here but I chose this city because I believe in Racine. I feel strongly about it. In 2016 you may all remember I ran for Racine County District Attorney because I felt that I wanted to do what I could to make this community a better place. I’ve been a prosecutor down in Kenosha for the last five years and although the cities are very different in some respects there are some similarities in terms of our urban diverse environment, the poverty, the drug abuse. A lot of the problems that these communities face are ones that I’m very familiar with and I’m running, or asking you to appoint me as Municipal Court Judge because I feel that I have skills and experience that can bring to that court, the opportunity to continue to modernize it as Judge Mason had been doing. I continue to look at the ways because of my experience the impact that the decisions that are made there can have on someone’s life I think for a lot of people that is the only uh judicial or legal experience that people have and so i think the experience that I have and making the decisions that I’ve had in the wide range of courtroom experience I’ve had will provide the demeanor the judgment the wisdom the impartiality the fairness and the dignity that that court deserves and that the people of Racine deserve and ultimately, I want to make an impact in trying to make our community a better place. Thank you.

Here is a video of his speech:

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15 Responses

  1. Funny how Thomas Binger, the lead prosecutor in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial now goes through life as T. Clair Binger. When searching the internet finding his name is a rarity,as if someone has tried to scrub and erase his name in relation to the trial? After the embarrassment of riches that was the prosecution team in this trial it doesn’t surprise me he changed his name but the internet never forgets.

    1. Sadly, many people will never make that connection that us observant people have. I mean, c’mon people. It’s not like his name is Smith, or Johnson. But many will still forget.

  2. I understand that many of you do not agree with the Rittenhouse prosecution.
    That decision was made by elected official District Attorney Gravely.
    Attorney Binger also prosecutes hundreds of crimes a week that you would agree with putting murderers, rapists, and other scum bags in prison.
    Cut the guy a break, he is working for you 99% of the time, plus he is a snappy dresser!

    1. Gravely was wrong to bring this case, but given that he is an elected official and there was enormous political pressure to do so, I can understand why he did. Binger on the other hand made some really questionable decisions both in not re-evaluating the case during discovery, and in trial. He’s also since given interviews in which he says he wanted Rittenhouse to go to prison for life. He made a statement saying that the jury saw through Rittenhouse’s “crocodile tears” (the same jury that saw through Binger’s weak case and unanimously acquitted). His approach to this case is incredibly out of touch at best and unethical at worst.

    2. Actually, Binger said himself in an interview that he had leeway to pick his cases and when he was asked to take this case he agreed. He was not told to. He thought Kyle was guilty and a brat!

  3. Great article idea. Thanks for the followup! Binger’s comments about the “absolute” discretion of prosecutors is a good reason not to give him the job.

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