The lawyer who got fired from representing accused Kenosha, Wisconsin, murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse over a financial dispute, is now in a hospital struggling to survive on a ventilator with Covid-19
John Pierce was a civil attorney who reinvented himself, after burying himself in mountains of debt, as a go-to lawyer for conservative causes who often proudly declared that he would never get vaccinated.
According to independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, who described him as “a Harvard-trained civil litigator involved in the more conspiratorial side of Trumpist politics,” Pierce now represents 18 accused January 6 defendants.
Pierce apparently got fired from representing Rittenhouse over a financial dispute and it is unclear how he plans to profit from the defendants who raided the US Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the government, since most already face far less severe charges than their behavior warrants and there is no doubt about in cases where many suspects admitted guilt in real-time on video feeds broadcast on social media.
At a hearing for Shane Jenkins, who is charged in connection with the attempted coup d’etat in Washington, DC, lawyer Ryan Marshall, a lawyer from Pierce’s firm who not licensed to practice in DC but still handled appearances for his colleague in court, told Judge Amit Mehta, “Mr Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with Covid-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive.”
Pierce’s firm replaced Jenkins’ previous attorney, Public Defender Maria Jacob, who started the hearing by saying that she suspected her client switched lawyers, but the paperwork seemed to be lagging.
Pierce’s clients include Proud Boy William Pepe and L. Brent Bozell IV, the son of conservative media commentator L. Brent Bozell III.
Pierce also represents Ryan Samsel, an accused insurrectionist identified by prosecutors as the man caught on video consulting with a top Proud Boy leader before attacking police officers in the riot’s first minutes.
Pierce said, “We are going to take every one of these cases to trial, we are going to seek full acquittals, and in that process we are going to find out what actually happened on Jan. 6.”
He also indicated that he would pursue a “public authority defense”—an unusual legal tactic that would allege that his clients committed their crimes in response to a request from the government, in essence asserting that they believed Donald Trump had lawfully authorized their law-breaking.
On 17 August, Pierce tweeted: “The entire 82nd Airborne couldn’t make me get an experimental government vaccine stuck in my arm.”
On 4 July, Pierce wrote on the platform that an army vaccine mandate was “a final-phase designed-purge of Patriotic Americans from the Army. Prepare for anything and everything at this point. This goes deeper than anything I thought even a few months ago. No one should be taking any of these vaccines, least of all the military”.
On 23 March, Pierce tweeted: “I personally think anyone who trusts the government to shoot some vague, unknown ‘vaccine’ in their arm for a virus with origin of a CCP biological weapons lab is taking a very big risk.”