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RITTENHOUSE SPEAKS OUT

Rittenhouse hints that potential libel lawsuits could be coming

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It’s been speculated since soon after Aug. 25, 2020, that Kyle Rittenhouse might file multimillion-dollar lawsuits against pundits and media outlets for slander and/or libel.

Lawsuits are also possible against his former attorneys John Pierce and Lin Wood, who Rittenhouse have said were out for their own benefit after inserting themselves into his defense after his Aug. 26, 2020, arrest.

Attorney Lin Wood

Wood

Last week, a spokesman for Rittenhouse’s family hinted that civil lawsuits are likely.

Dave Hancock, the spokesman who is a former Navy Seal and used to work for Wood, said in a podcast published Tuesday that the family is continuing to fundraise through FreeKyleUSA.org to pay for Rittenhouse’s security costs and also potential legal fees. The podcast was hosted by Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA organization for conservative youths.

Possible targets include Facebook, which had blocked searches on its website for Rittenhouse and removed posts of “praise and support” for the teenager within days of the shootings.

“They called him a ‘mass shooter,’ that came from old Marky (Mark Zuckerberg) himself,” Hancock said, and others that painted Rittenhouse as a white supremacist.

After shooting Joseph Rosenbaum last summer, members of the pro-BLM crowd ran after Rittenhouse with the belief that he was an active shooter and not that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defense as a Kenosha County jury concluded last month.

In an exclusive interview with Tucker Carlson following his acquittal, teenager Kyle Rittenhouse said, "I was there just to help anybody who needed it" after the fatal shooting of two men during racial justice protests in Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse has said he is not a white supremacist and told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last month that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement. However, in January, he posed for photographs at Pudgy’s Pub in Mount Pleasant with apparent members of the Proud Boys extremist group — which is not explicitly a white power group, its leader is a man of color, but members of the group have expressed racist views and repeatedly antagonized pro-Black Lives Matter demonstrators. In photos Rittenhouse posed for at the bar, he held up the “OK” symbol with his hand, which some white supremacists have co-opted as a symbol representing white power.

In the spotlight

In Tuesday’s podcast, Rittenhouse said he never wanted to be famous — although his now-defunct TikTok account included the phrase “Bruh I’m just tryna be famous.”

While still seeking donations and coming from a low-income family, Rittenhouse has multiple avenues with which he could make money. “He could easily secure a seven-figure book contract,” Andrew M. Stroth, a former talent agent and an attorney in Chicago with no ties to Rittenhouse, told the Associated Press last week. Rittenhouse, Stroth said, “could monetize his brand and potentially make in the millions.”

Besides conservative media members, Rittenhouse has also met former President Donald Trump in the last week and also said he spoke on the phone with Nicholas Sandmann — a Catholic school student teen who settled multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuits out of court with The Washington Post and CNN after he was photographed in January 2019 in a Make America Great Again hat smirking and staring at a Native American man beating a drum in Washington D.C. Sandmann attested he was trying to calm down a tense situation as others antagonized the man, but he was painted as mocking the man by many media reports.

Like Rittenhouse, Sandmann previously had employed Wood as his attorney before a falling out.

Rittenhouse could also try to fight and get some or all of the $2 million bail posted on his behalf by Pierce, who has allegedly been spending the money on his own legal fees as Pierce has become the most popular attorney among Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendants.

Attorneys blasted

In his multiple media appearances since being acquitted, Rittenhouse has taken time to slam both Wood and Pierce. He said they could have gotten him out of jail faster than they did by using fundraising money more efficiently — according to Rittenhouse, Pierce was being paid more than $1,200 an hour.

Rittenhouse was jailed for nearly three months before bail was finally posted.

On Tuesday, Rittenhouse said Pierce did not even know they had lost the extradition fight until the teenager called Rittenhouse from jail in Kenosha. Pierce had unsuccessfully tried to argue that Rittenhouse was part of a militia and thus the charges should be dropped, which Kirk called a “bizarre 1780s argument.”

“I didn’t even know what a militia was,” Rittenhouse laughed Tuesday.

Of Wood and Pierce, “They didn’t respect my beliefs and they kept on doing that,” Rittenhouse said, since the teenager from the beginning attested he wanted his day in court and thought the extradition fight and militia argument were a waste of time.

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