Kyle Rittenhouse was declared not guilty on Nov. 19. Now, just one week later, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has introduced a bill to award him the Congressional Gold Medal.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions,” according to the U.S. Senate.
This award has a rich history that began in 1776. George Washington, Andrew Jackson, the Wright Brothers, Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson are among the many important and famous recipients of this award.
According to the brief summary on the bill, Greene wants to award Rittenhouse since he “protected the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020.”
The Washington Post reported that Greene showed her support for the 18-year-old immediately after the verdict when she tweeted that Rittenhouse is “one of [the] good ones.”
“Kyle Rittenhouse deserves to be remembered as a hero who defended his community, protected businesses, and acted lawfully in the face of lawlessness,” Greene said in a statement. “I’m proud to file this legislation to award Kyle Rittenhouse a Congressional Gold Medal.”
Rittenhouse has been in the spotlight of the media since 2020, and his trial and not-guilty verdict stirred lots of contention throughout the country.
In August 2020, Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the midst of riots. He shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.
Should Rittenhouse be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal?
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree attempted intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. He was cleared on all counts.
It took the jury roughly 27 hours, over four days, to come to a verdict, according to NPR.
In response to the verdict, protests broke out in several cities. In Portland, Oregon, the Portland Police Bureau said a “significant part of the crowd” were engaging in “violent, destructive behavior,” NPR reported. Chicago, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles also experienced protests.
While President Joe Biden and Congress have supported the jury’s verdict, Biden also said that the verdict made him and many Americans “angry and concerned,” the New York Post said.
Other Republican lawmakers have also celebrated Rittenhouse’s verdict and even offered him jobs. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said he was considering hiring Rittenhouse as an intern.
However, when asked about Greene’s bill to award Rittenhouse the Congressional Gold Medal, Joel Valdez, a spokesman for Gaetz, said they were “concerned that awarding Kyle with a Congressional Gold Medal will give him a big head during the internship with our office,” according to the Post.
Meanwhile, Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted lightheartedly about how he would fight Gaetz to get Rittenhouse.
Justice was served for #KyleRittenhouse and he is fully exonerated. As I said last year, obviously self-defense.
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) November 19, 2021
But Rittenhouse’s defense lawyer, Mark Richards, told Insider he finds this kind of offer from Capitol Hill “disgusting.”
“There’s a lot of people trying to profit on this, and I don’t think people should,” Richards said.
The bill, which does not have any co-sponsors yet, has been referred to the House’s Financial Services and Administration committees.