Kyle Rittenhouse said Lin Wood’s and John Pierce’s legal defense fund in his name was a scam

Kyle Rittenhouse
Kyle Rittenhouse. Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images
  • After being acquitted, Kyle Rittenhouse claimed he was exploited by his former legal team. 
  • Rittenhouse said Lin Wood and John Pierce raised money off his case “for their own benefit.”
  • Rittenhouse became a conservative star before and during his trial for shooting people at a protest.

Kyle Rittenhouse accused his one-time attorneys Lin Wood and John Pierce of using money in his legal defense fund for their own benefit. 

The claim came in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson which aired Monday night, escalating a feud between Rittenhouse and his former legal team.

Rittenhouse was on Friday acquitted of multiple charges, including homicide. During his trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he dropped his first legal team and replaced him with the lawyers who executed his successful defense.

In his interview with Carlson, Rittenhouse addressed what he claims were failings by his first legal team, which was led by Wood and Pierce, prominent Donald Trump-supporting attorneys. 

Rittenhouse became a hero to many conservatives after shooting dead Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz on August 25, 2020. 

Rittenhouse is currently in a legal dispute with Wood, an attorney with ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, over the $US2 ($AU3) million fund raised for Rittenhouse after his detention. 

The bail was set so high because Rittenhouse was believed to be a flight risk given the profile of his case, his powerful conservative backers, and the potential severity of the sentence should he be found guilty. 

But Wood’s organisation, Fight Back, is also laying claim to the fund, claiming that it raised much of the money. It said $US700,000 ($AU962,815) was spent on Rittenhouse ‘s legal fees and that Wood personally guaranteed loans made to the fund. 

“Somebody has fed Kyle misinformation, for whatever reason,” Wood said to The Daily Beast of Rittenhouse ‘s claims.

Insider has contacted Wood and Pierce for comment. 

Rittenhouse also criticized Wood and Pierce for not doing more to have him released from a youth detention center

“Lin Wood was raising money on my behalf, and he held me in jail for 87 days, disrespecting my wishes,” he said.

Rittenhouse said he and Pierce encouraged him to speak to news outlets like The Washington Post, which he said was “not a good idea.”

“They said I was safer in jail instead of at home with my family,” said Rittenhouse. 

“Your lawyer said that?” Carlson asked.

“My lawyers said that,” Rittenhouse replied. “John Pierce and Lin Wood.”

“Eighty-seven days is a long time to be in jail,” said Carlson.

“It was very long,” said Rittenhouse, who was 17 when he was placed in the detention facility. “I lost a lot of weight in there.”

He added, “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.”

He went on to claim that Pierce had falsely said he had been part of a “militia,” a claim Rittenhouse said was not true.

“I’m not in a militia. I don’t know what that is,” he said.