Kyle Rittenhouse said in a new NewsNation interview with Ashleigh Banfield that his former lawyers used him.
Rittenhouse fatally shot two people and injured another at a 2020 Jacob Blake protest.
He was acquitted of all charges brought against him.
Kyle Rittenhouse said that his former attorneys used him for political reasons, according to an interview with NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield that aired Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
Rittenhouse said he was “set up by my former attorney who was fired because of that, for putting me in situations like that with people I don’t agree with.”
A photo of Rittenhouse with a member of the Proud Boys (a right-wing group) circulated the internet in January 2021, but the 18-year-old says he was unaware of his affiliation and that his former lawyer John Pierce set up the meeting at a Wisconsin bar.
“I found out they were Proud Boys when I saw the headlines,” Rittenhouse told NewsNation. “I thought they were just a bunch of, like, construction dudes based on how they looked.”
Rittenhouse was charged with shooting and killing two people and shooting and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during civil unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake — a Black man who was shot seven times by police and left partially paralyzed.
He faced charges of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment.
On Friday, he was acquitted of all charges. After three days of deliberation, the jury found that he acted in self-defense.
Following the August 25, 2020, shootings, Rittenhouse was represented by John Pierce and Lin Wood — two controversial right-wing attorneys. Pierce told NPR in September that he represents 18 Jan. 6 defendants. Wood was one of the pro-Trump attorneys who filed lawsuits alleging voter fraud in failed attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Both attorneys were let go of his defense team — first Wood, then Pierce. Mark Richards replaced them in January 2021, according to The New York Times.
Of Wood, Rittenhouse said he was “insane.”
“He thinks he’s God,” Rittenhouse said of Wood. “And he just says all these weird things like, ‘We’re going to keep that boy in jail, because there’s not going to be any civil or criminal cases come the election,’ which is just complete insanity.”
“That is insulting and mocking of God,” Wood told NewsNation in response, calling Rittenhouse’s comments “asinine” and saying he’d only spoken to him twice for short periods of time.
“They wanted to use Kyle for a cause, and something that I think was inappropriate,” Richards, Rittenhouse’s current attorney, told reporters on Friday. “The only thing that mattered to me was whether he was found not guilty or not. I don’t represent causes, I represent clients.”
Following his acquittal, Rittenhouse did an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carleson, who also made a documentary of the trial. On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump revealed on Fox News that Rittenhouse and his mom recently visited him at Mar-a-Lago.
Wood, Pierce, and Richards did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to NewsNation, Wood said he did not know who the Proud Boys were and was not involved with security for Rittenhouse.
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