The judge presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial apparently forgot to silence his cellphone when the proceedings returned from lunch on Wednesday, revealing to the world that his ringtone is Lee Greenwood’s cheesy patriotic anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Following a one-hour break in the prosecution’s heated cross-examination of Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old accused murderer’s defense argued for a mistrial with prejudice over Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger’s actions. Specifically, Rittenhouse’s defense lawyers objected to Binger asking about Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent—a line of questioning that Judge Bruce Schroeder had already admonished the prosecutor over.
While the defense team argued that the murder case against Rittenhouse needed to be tossed, Schroeder’s phone suddenly (and quite loudly) blared the unmistakable chorus of the unapologetic flag-waving country tune. Schroeder quickly switched his phone off and the proceedings continued as if nothing happened.
First released in 1984, “God Bless the U.S.A.” gained renewed prominence following the 9/11 terror attacks and has since become something of a standard in conservative political circles. Most recently, for example, former President Donald Trump used the song as his entrance theme during rallies.