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Kyle Rittenhouse’s Lawyer Threatens One Lawsuit After Another As His Debt Causes Public Scrutiny

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Lawyer Threatens One Lawsuit After Another As His Debt Causes Public Scrutiny

One of Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorneys, John Pierce, has pulled back from involvement in the defense fund after questions were raised about exactly how the money will be used. Pierce’s firm is reported to be $70 million in debt. Now, after stepping back from that fund, Pierce is hinting at legal action against a variety of individuals and entities adjacent to the case.

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards 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)

Note: screenshots of all tweets included in this article will be appended at the bottom for reference in the event that they are removed by the site or the user.

After concerns were raised about John Pierce’s connection to the donations, the attorney made a public announcement that he is no longer connected to the funds and all expenditures will be made at the discretion of Rittenhouse’s other attorney, Lin Wood.

Since removing himself from the defense fund team, Pierce has been tweeting a lot, responding in Kyle’s defense to social media users who are willing to argue that the teenager is guilty of murder, and addressing numerous stories and tweets about the case. In particular, he’s responded with what seem to be threats of legal action against at least three entities: Twitter, Discover, and an individual who said he’s collected public information to share with employers.

Note that in none of the tweets that will follow does Pierce explicitly say he intends to sue any entity — instead, he says “handing us a lawsuit,” “not going to end well,” “we’re going to need more lawyers,” and “leave them in smoking ruins in courtrooms.” These might all be read to imply legal action, but none are so direct as to promise it.

First, see Pierce’s response to Twitter briefly banning him. Calling this time-out a case of censorship, the attorney suggests a legal case over it.

Discover has blocked a certain Christian website from taking payments from their cards, citing “operating regulation violations.” Forbes has the full story here, but the short version is that while the company didn’t say why exactly they cut off this website, they announced after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that they would not do business with websites run by hate groups, due to risk of association with violence.

John Pierce responded to this too, suggesting it might “end badly” for the company and require “more lawyers,” although it’s not clear that the policy violates any laws or legally protected freedoms.

Finally, there’s a Twitter account that announced that unnamed collaborators had collected public information from the GoFundMe account started for Kyle Rittenhouse, before it was removed (GFM doesn’t allow fundraisers for defense against criminal charges). Donors to GoFundMe can choose to hide their Facebook name from the public view, but for those who left it public, the group clicked through, and looked at the publicly visible portions of their profile. (Most of this can also be hidden at will.) In the continuing thread, the account includes name, city and state, photos, amount donated, and tags an employer when that information was publicly visible.

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Pierce said the individual or individuals behind the account should be “[left] in smoking ruins in courtrooms across the land.”

It’s not clear how much, if any, intent the attorney has to actually follow through with any of these lawsuits. He’s doing a lot of engaging on Twitter, drawing attention to Kyle Rittenhouse’s case, and increasingly making himself a public figure and household name. Floating the idea of a lawsuit draws more attention, especially with a religious or discrimination angle.

John Pierce Kyle Rittenhouse Tweet 1
[Screenshot via John Pierce/Twitter]
Kyle Rittenhouse attorney John pierce second tweet
[Screenshot: John Pierce/Twitter]
Kyle Rittenhouse attorney John Pierce threatens lawsuit
[Screenshot via John Pierce/Twitter]
Kyle Rittenhouse donors exposed
[Screenshot via Discord_Panic/Twitter]
John Pierce says leave them in smoking ruins in courtrooms
[Screenshot via John Pierce/Twitter]
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