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Kyle Rittenhouse's attorney has yet to apply to represent teen in Wisconsin

Kyle Rittenhouse's attorney has yet to apply to represent teen in Wisconsin

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Kyle Rittenhouse’s outspoken attorney John Pierce has not yet applied for permission to represent the teen in Wisconsin.

Pierce, a California-based attorney active on conservative issues, has been acting as the lead defense attorney for Rittenhouse in public statements and in an online campaign to raise money and public support. He also represented Rittenhouse in court in an ultimately unsuccessful fight to block his extradition from Illinois to Kenosha County, where he is facing homicide charges.

But because he is not licensed in Wisconsin, Pierce must apply for pro hac vice permission to practice in the state in partnership with a locally licensed attorney on the case. Racine-based criminal defense attorney Mark Richards joined the case as the local counsel for Rittenhouse and was the only lawyer representing him at his initial appearance in Kenosha County.

A representative of the State Bar of Wisconsin said Tuesday that no pro hac vice application has been filed for Pierce.

In an email Wednesday, Pierce said the application would be filed “shortly.”

“We are all on one team fighting for Kyle,” he said.

Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, was charged in Wisconsin on Aug. 27 with first degree intentional homicide, first degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. He is accused of shooting and killing Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and of wounding Gaige Grosskreutz of West Allis on Aug. 25 after Rittenhouse came to Downtown Kenosha armed with an AR-15-style rifle during unrest in the city following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer.

Within days of the shooting, Pierce and fellow attorney L. Lin Wood were appearing in the media and online representing Rittenhouse, who became a cause celebre among some gun rights activists. Wood has been raising money for Rittenhouse’s defense through his Fight Back Foundation, in past statements saying they have raised about $2 million for the teen’s defense fund.

Tied to residential politics

In recent days, Pierce and Wood have been busy online promoting the idea that Donald Trump won re-election and that election results showing that Joe Biden won the presidency are fraudulent.

“POTUS won by a landslide. The elites are trying to steal it through massive and concerted fraud. Only solution to have any legitimacy is for House delegations to decide under the 12th Amendment,” Pierce wrote in a tweet Monday. He has been tweeting on the election as many as 50 times a day, supporting the idea that the election was stolen.

Pierce is also continuing to ask for donations for the Rittenhouse case.

“The cost of the defense is going to be very substantial. We need to fight this all the way. Long, hard battle coming up #USA,” he tweeted Tuesday.

Rittenhouse is next expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 3.

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