Kyle Rittenhouse's next fight is with his OWN lawyers
Two attorneys are reportedly asking for their portion of the $2 million in bond money they raised for the embattled teenager last year
While Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man after being acquitted on all counts in Kenosha on Friday, he faces another potential legal battle with his former lawyers, who are reportedly expecting to be compensated for the $2 million in bond money they raised for the embattled teenager.
A panel of 12 anonymous jurors acquitted 18-year-old Rittenhouse on all charges, including two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide for wounding a third man, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety, after he fatally shot two people and wounded another during the violent unrest on August 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Now, two attorneys who helped raise the bond money last year now want their cash back.
In late November 2020, Los Angeles-based attorney John Pierce, who represented the teenager at the time, wrote a $2 million check in a bid to spring him from jail. Pierce joined the Rittenhouse legal team at the behest of well-known Atlanta defamation lawyer Lin Wood. The two would form a non-profit called the #FightBack Foundation and managed to raise around $2 million using the social media hashtag #FightBack, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Wood subsequently exited the Rittenhouse legal team as he was busy helping former President Donald J. Trump contest the disputed 2020 election results in court. In February this year, the Rittenhouse family fired Pierce. They later accused both Wood and Pierce of diverting funds meant to help the teenager.
Kenosha-based attorney Xavier Solis sent a letter to the court in September on behalf of Wood, demanding that the amount be returned to the foundation. “Money makes people do silly things,” a Twitter account associated with the Rittenhouse family shared after the court received the letter. “While we’re busting our humps trying to raise money and see Kyle acquitted, Lin Wood is sending letters to the court DURING Kyle’s hearing to demand $2M in donations FOR KYLE be given to HIM.”
Money makes people do silly things.— 🇺🇸 Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund 🇺🇸 (@freekyleusa) September 21, 2021
While we're busting our humps trying to raise money and see Kyle acquitted, Lin Wood is sending letters to the court DURING Kyle's hearing to demand $2M in donations FOR KYLE be given to HIM. 🤔
Lin Wood...keeping it classy as always. 🧛 pic.twitter.com/Uic8xZD8HM
Legally, the bond must be returned to whoever posted it after the trial is over, which in this case appears to be Pierce's law firm, Pierce Bainbridge. However, Wood has claimed that the #FightBack Foundation must receive the money as they were the ones who raised the amount. It's worth noting that former child actor Ricky Schroder and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell have also been credited with donating substantially toward Rittenhouse's defense fund.
Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Richards, who represented Rittenhouse at his landmark homicide trial, acknowledged that a legal battle is brewing over the bond money. “I suspect there will be a fight over that,” Richards told Kenosha News. “John Pierce is the person who posted the bond. All that money was raised on behalf of Kyle. Lin Wood and FightBack say they are entitled to it. There was half a million dollars I think that came directly from Wendy Rittenhouse [Kyle's mother] from the money she raised. So there’s going to be a fight over that, and I’m just thankful there will be a fight over that.”
Pierce released a statement responding to the controversy. “Unfortunately, manufactured controversy, such as the social media speculation about the bail money is nothing more than a distraction designed to discredit me, as I prepare to defend many more people who are being abused for political gain," he said on Friday.