Kyle Rittenhouse trashed his former attorneys, including President Trump ally Lin Wood, for raising money for themselves and accusing him of being in a militia during his much-anticipated interview with Tucker Carlson that aired Monday.
Wood and John Pierce, who helped raise the bond money to get Rittenhouse released from jail after his arrest last year now want their cash back, but the 18-year-old Antioch, Illinois resident’s family is refusing.
Rittenhouse, 18, told the Fox News host that Wood and John Pierce raised money on his behalf while he was in jail.
But he claims that while the lawyers had raised enough bail money by mid September, they chose not to post his bail because they wanted to use him for their own cause.
‘I was in jail for 87 days,’ Rittenhouse said. ‘Lin Wood was raising money on my behalf, and he held me in jail for 87 days, disrespecting my wishes, put me on media interviews which I should never have done, which he said, ‘Oh, you’re going to go talk to The Washington Post,’ which was not a good idea, along with John Pierce.’
‘They said I was safer in jail instead of at home with my family.’
Carlson responded: ’87 days is a long time to be in jail.’
‘It was very long,’ said Rittenhouse. ‘I lost a lot of weight in there. But 87 days of not being with my family for defending myself and being taken advantage of, being used for a cause by these–by John Pierce and Lin Wood… trying to raise money so they can take it for their own benefit, not trying to set me free.’
Rittenhouse also criticized the two for saying he was in an ‘unorganized militia’ upon the teen’s release from jail.
‘John Pierce said that and it’s blatantly false,’ he replied. ‘I didn’t know militia was until after the fact, until November 25, when I was watching some of the interviews he did. I’m like, I’m not in a militia. I don’t know what that is.’
Kyle Rittenhouse spoke about the ineffectiveness of his former attorneys in an interview that aired Monday
Rittenhouse’s sitdown with Tucker Carlson (left) was filmed Sunday and has made headlines for Rittenhouse’s political views and his thoughts on how America perceived him during his trial and acquittal
Rittenhouse accused attorneys Lin Wood (pictured left) and John Pierce of raising money on his behalf but for their own benefit
Rittenhouse sat down with Carlson days after being cleared of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
Rittenhouse was asked if Wood and Pierce simply chose to not raise his bail money faster for their own benefit.
‘I believe – sometime in September, September 5, I want to say – they had over a million dollars, and bail was set and able to be posted in September. So they could’ve had me sign the waiver for extradition and had me back in Wisconsin, and I could have been bailed out by mid-September. But they wanted to keep me in jail until November 20.’
Rittenhouse’s lead attorney Mark Richards has also been critical of Wood, calling him an ‘idiot,’ as well as Republican lawmakers Richards has felt tried to cash in on his client
Rittenhouse reacting to the verdict at court in Kenosha when he was found not guilty of all charges on Friday
Rittenhouse’s new team has previously been critical of the two. Mark Richards, Rittenhouse’s defense attorney, called Wood an ‘idiot.’
Wood has since threatened to sue Richards.
John Pierce of the Los Angeles-based law firm Pierce Bainbridge represented Rittenhouse at the time that his firm wrote a $2 million check springing him from jail in late November 2020.
Pierce was brought on to the Rittenhouse legal team by famed Atlanta defamation lawyer Lin Wood.
Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man after he was acquitted of murder in Kenosha on Friday, but the next legal battle could involve his former lawyers who are now demanding to be repaid their portion of the $2million in bond money
John Pierce (left) and Lin Wood (right), two former attorneys for Rittenhouse who formed a charity that helped raise money toward his bond and legal defense, are reportedly demanding they be repaid their portion of the cash
Together, Wood and Pierce formed a nonprofit called the #FightBack Foundation.
Using the social media hashtag #FightBack, they managed to raise around $2million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Wood then left the Rittenhouse legal team in order to help then-President Donald Trump contest the election results in court.
The Rittenhouse family then fired Pierce in February. The family has accused both Lin and Pierce of diverting money meant to help Rittenhouse.
By law, bond should be returned to whoever posted it after the trial is over. In this case, it appears to be Pierce’s law firm.
But Wood claims that his #FightBack Foundation is the one that raised the money and thus should get the cash.
Former child actor Ricky Schroder and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell have also been credited with making donations toward Rittenhouse’s legal fund.
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell (left) and former child actor Ricky Schroder (right) have also made donations toward Rittenhouse’s legal fund
Schroder is seen far left alongside Rittenhouse and his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse
Mark Richards, the criminal defense lawyer who represented Rittenhouse at trial, believes 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.’
Richards added: ‘There was half a million dollars I think that came directly from [Kyle’s mother] Wendy Rittenhouse from money she raised.
‘So there’s going to be a fight over that, and I’m just thankful there will be a fight over it.’
Jurors decided the rifle-wielding teen opened fire in self-defense as the trio chased and attacked him during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black male.
His unanimous acquittal prompted accusations from the left that a ‘racist’ two-tier justice system favors white defendants and gives a green light to heavily-armed vigilantes.
Conservatives, meanwhile, have lauded Rittenhouse for protecting his community against lawlessness and pointed out that not a single person he shot at during the fiery chaos was black.
‘He’s 18. He didn’t get into this to make a political point. This is his community and they were burning it down,’ said Carlson, speaking to DailyMail.com hours before his exclusive interview airs Monday on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
‘I don’t think he sees himself as a poster boy for anything. In fact, he emphatically doesn’t. And that’s part of the tragedy of it, I don’t think he ever wanted any of this.’
Carlson had a production crew embedded with Rittenhouse and his legal team throughout the murder trial for an hour-long documentary to be screened next month on subscription service, Fox Nation.
He’s adamant that jurors reached the appropriate verdict despite what he slams as a slew of racist smears and groundless links to white supremacy from liberal commentators.
Chicago: Over a thousand demonstrators gathered at Federal Plaza in Chicago on Saturday to protest the acquittal
Protests over the verdict continued on Sunday in Kenosha, where a group of around 150 people gathered in the Civic Center Park outside the courthouse where Rittenhouse was cleared to protest the verdict
‘What’s so distressing, is that nobody seems willing to assess Kyle Rittenhouse on his own terms,’ Carlson said of the Antioch, Illinois native.
‘My view after spending a few hours with him and talking to him about his life is that he was not an especially political kid. You know, he liked Andrew Yang.
‘He was a 17-year-old kid from a working class family who always had a job. He was a fry cook, a lifeguard, this is not someone from a privileged background – just the opposite.
‘He wasn’t in a militia. He had no weird views on race. If anything, he’s probably pretty liberal on race.
‘He went to Kenosha because a bunch of his relatives lived there, he worked there and he was upset because of what was happening there.
‘The police were doing nothing about it. The mayor of Kenosha was doing nothing about it. The governor of Wisconsin allowed it to happen. And so it fell to the 17-year-old kid.
‘The kid takes a stand against violence and he’s immediately threatened.’
Carlson said he supported Rittenhouse’s version of events from the start because he watched video clips of the shootings which would eventually form the bedrock of a successful defense which argued that Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz were the aggressors who presented a threat to his life.
Rittenhouse was dressed in a suit and tie for the interview as the family dined at Smokin’ Jerry’s Tiki Hut Bar & Grill in Placida, Florida on Sunday afternoon
Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts. The verdict came in at 12.15pm Friday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, leading to fears that the city might once again erupt in violence
In contrast, he says multiple commentators continue to repeat erroneous information on the case and that several oversees outlets were so confused by the US media’s racially-focused narrative that they wrongly reported the ‘victims’ as black.
‘The story had nothing to do with race. These were all entitled white kids,’ Carlson told DailyMail.com.
‘Why did they think that? Because that was the implication of the American media coverage.
‘Why would you do that? Why would you make people hate each other more on the basis of their race?
‘It’s impossible to get that stuff back in the bottle. They’re destroying the country. They’re literally destroying the country.’
Carlson is hopeful viewers will take the time to watch his show so they can make up their own minds about the catastrophic shooting and the ensuing, 19-day trial that gripped the US.
‘I still believe in the core premise of journalism which is, if you bring people facts, some percentage of them will make up their own mind in a rational, thoughtful way,’ he said.
‘I supported him from day one because I watched the video. I didn’t think that he broke the law and that turned out to be true. But I didn’t know him and so this gives people an hour of video to assess what they think of him.
‘People will reach their own conclusions, but, you know, no one who watches this will come away thinking Rittenhouse is some kind of hater because he certainly isn’t.
‘And how dare people make the claim that he’s a white supremacist. I hope he sues the sh*t out of everyone who said that because it’s just so dishonest. It’s mind boggling actually.’
As for the future, Carlson fears it will prove incredibly difficult for Rittenhouse to resume anything resembling a normal life.
‘As far as I can tell, he wants to get a nursing degree at Arizona State University. My own adult take on that is that, that might be pretty hard,’ Carlson added.
‘I don’t know if he understands because he’s been in jail and in the middle of a murder trial. I don’t think he has perspective on how famous he’s become and what a symbol he’s become. I don’t think he gets that. I mean, how could he get that?’