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Rittenhouse Lawyer Resigns From Defense Fund

The 17-Year-Old Faces Six Charges In Kenosha Protest Killings

Kasey Morgan, a public information officer for the Lake County Court, walks away from reporters outside the Lake County courthouse following the extradition hearing for Kyle Rittenhouse Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Waukegan, Ill. A judge agreed Friday to delay for a month a decision on whether the 17-year-old from Illinois should be returned to Wisconsin to face charges accusing him of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

A lawyer representing a 17-year-old charged with shooting three people during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has resigned from his position with a defense fund that has raked in more than $700,000 to defend his client and conservative causes.

Attorney John Pierce is defending Kyle Rittenhouse. The teenager is facing intentional homicide charges for shooting two people to death and injuring a third during unrest after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot and paralyzed by police. Pierce said he resigned from the fund to avoid any “appearance of conflict,” USA Today reports.

Pierce and his firm, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht have been accused of defaulting on millions of dollars owed to an investor. Earlier this year, he acknowledged in New York court documents that he had failed to pay Kresh Kapital $4 million for cash advances made to Pierce’s law firm.

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On Saturday, Pierce tweeted that the allegation his company is in debt is “Total fake news.” He also said it should be expected that some of the donations to the “Fightback Foundation,” which he co-created Aug. 24, would go toward his firm while it defended Rittenhouse.

“Of course the firm will have to be paid for some of its work and expenses so we can keep the lights on,” wrote Pierce.

The “Fightback Foundation” website says its goal is to raise money for lawsuits against media organizations “to stop the left’s lies. To defend the truth. To defend freedom.”

On Aug. 27, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley filed six criminal charges against Rittenhouse, including one count of 1st-degree intentional homicide, two counts of 1st-degree reckless homicide, two counts of 1st-degree recklessly endangering safety and one count of being a minor in possession of a dangerous weapon.

Rittenhouse’s legal team has said the 17-year-old was in Kenosha to protect businesses from looting and arson following a night in which several buildings were set on fire by rioters in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23. Rittenhouse’s lawyers said he only fired his AR-15 rifle while defending himself from a “mob” of attackers.

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