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17 Year-Old Shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund Linked To Law Firm Hired By Rudy Giuliani

Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged in the killing of two Kenosha, WI protestors, and the wounding of a third. However, some on the right are calling him a patriot, saying that he did what police should have done, or that he acted in self-defense. Multiple entities are fund-raising to cover the cost of his defense. However, one of them has odd ties — to a law firm that’s in debt, falling apart, and once hired by Rudy Giuliani. What’s more, a disclaimer warns that funds raised by that organization could be used by law firms for other purposes.

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backward cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, with another armed civilian. Prosecutors on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, charged Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois in the fatal shooting of two protesters and the wounding of a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP)

We’ve covered Pierce Bainbridge’s connection to Rudy Giuliani before. He hired the firm — back when it had a much longer name listing. Several of the former have since left — to defend him in any charges that might arise for his part in Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to sully the name of a political opponent. Now one former partner is blowing the whistle on various oddities that arise around the firm.

In a Medium article, it’s noted that one of the groups asking for donations for Kyle Rittenhouse is Fight Back. The site for that organization makes no pretense of political neutrality.

With lies and fake news, the radical left mob attacks conservatives without accountability…The radical left sneers at the truth; they only care about power. They will deny science, logic, and evidence to get their way. They will even say 2+2 = 5 if it means they get power. They will lie, smear, and threaten if it means they get power…While the fake news media will assure you that the nationwide protests are “mostly peaceful,” rioters are destroying businesses and livelihoods. Too many city governments, controlled by the far left, stand by and let “peaceful protesters” attack people and destroy property.

Then the site shows three affiliated attorneys.

lin wood john pierce kyle rittenhouse
[Screenshot via Fight Back]
According to Dispatch, this is the team representing Kyle Rittenhouse, and they say they’re the only approved place to donate for his defense — to “be wary” of anyone else who says they’re collecting funds for Kyle.

Lin Wood has made headlines recently for his work for Nick Sandmann, the teenager who sued media outlets after they reported on his interactions with a political protest last year. He’s linked to the conspiracy group, Q-Anon.

John Pierce — well, that’s the Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge as mentioned above. According to LawFuel, his firm is about $70 million in debt.

Here’s where the website gets interesting. Immediately below a mission statement (explaining that the “radical left mob” must be stopped from “attack[ing] conservatives without accountability,” there’s a donation widget.

Fight Back donations
[Screenshot via Fight Back]
However, anyone who landed on the page hoping to support Kyle Rittenhouse, specifically, would be wiser not to jump too quickly — to donate for his defense fund, one has to keep scrolling. Yes, it’s the last thing all the way at the bottom of the page, before the “about us” material.

John Pierce on Kyle Rittenhouse
[Screenshot via Fight Back]
In his Medium piece, an attorney who is no longer at the Pierce Bainbridge law firm hints that funds might be spread around a little more broadly than donors expect.

While there is no question that Kyle Rittenhouse should be able to receive donations for a defense, the question is: does the involvement of John M. Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge raise red flags? The Fightback webpage says donations may be used for causes other than just Rittenhouse, and includes what appears to be a broad scope of potential permitted use.

For evidence, he quotes this except from the News tab of the Fight Back site.

Those who wish to contribute to #FightBack can go to www.fightback.law. Funds may go to law firms owned or affiliated with the board members of #FightBack to fund legal fees and costs for litigations that fall within the foundation’s mission statement.

Fortunately, there’s a “more information” link under the donation widget for Kyle Rittenhouse funding. Unfortunately, clicking through it doesn’t actually provide any more information — as seen here, or in the screenshot below, all that’s added on this page is a stock photo of money changing hands, above the same donation tool.

Kyle Rittenhouse
[Screenshot via Fight Back]
All added up, it looks like Rittenhouse’s defense team, including a member whose firm is said to be $70 million in debt, is taking donations on his behalf, warning people not to donate except through them, and in the eyes of one attorney once affiliated with them, not being clear enough about where the funds will go. This is in addition to the bizarre links to Rudy Giuliani, Q-Anon, and other right-wing groups, politicians, and causes.



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