Two lawyers who worked on Rittenhouse’s case for a short time and helped raise $2 million to keep him out of jail while awaiting criminal charges want their money back, but the now-acquitted teen’s family is resisting the effort.
Since last November, Rittenhouse, 18, had been free on a $2 million bond secured by former Rittenhouse attorney John Pierce with a cashier’s cheque from his legal firm Pierce Bainbridge.
Lin Wood, another early Rittenhouse attorney, has indicated that the funds were donated by the FightBack Foundation, which he runs. Wood has stated that the funds should be returned to him.
Days after the shooting on Aug. 25, 2020, Pierce and Wood began representing Rittenhouse as his attorneys and initiated his fundraising case. Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, and Ricky Schroder, a former child actor, were among the benefactors to the FightBack Foundation and Rittenhouse’s cause.
However, shortly after the bond was posted, Wood left the Rittenhouse case, and the Rittenhouse family fired Pierce. The Rittenhouse camp made angry accusations on social media about Pierce’s money handling.
In most cases, the bond money is returned to the individual who posted it after the trial. However, on behalf of Wood, Kenosha attorney Xavier Solis wrote to the court in September, requesting that the money be returned to FightBack.
“Money makes people do silly things,” a Twitter account associated with the Rittenhouse family posted after the letter was sent to the court. “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.”
Pierce said in a statement Friday: “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.”
Rittenhouse defense attorney Mark Richards took a shot at Pierce and Wood and indicated there would be a fight over the money, reported Kenosha news.
“I suspect there will be a fight over that,” he said. “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 [Kyle’s mother] Wendy Rittenhouse from money she raised,” he continued. “So there’s going to be a fight over that, and I’m just thankful there will be a fight over it.”
There haven’t been any civil cases filed against Rittenhouse yet, but lawsuits have been filed against others.
The family of Anthony Huber, one of the men killed by Rittenhouse, issued a lawsuit against Kenosha police and government authorities, alleging they let a dangerous scenario develop that led to his death. A similar case has been filed by Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot by Rittenhouse but survived.
A group of demonstrators has also filed a lawsuit against the city and county of Kenosha, claiming that curfew restrictions were applied to them but not to armed individuals like Rittenhouse, reported NY Post.