Much of Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager found not guilty in a high-profile homicide trial last week, went as Cockburn expected. Tucker largely let Rittenhouse tell his side of the story, running through the events of the bloody night last summer when Rittenhouse shot and killed two men and wounded a third.
Tucker’s questions on the political dimensions of the case, something about which Rittenhouse has said very little until now, prompted the most interesting responses. “This case has nothing to do with race, it never had anything to do with race,” said Rittenhouse. “It had to do with the right to self-defense.”
Rittenhouse also said: “I support the BLM movement. I support peacefully demonstrating. I believe there needs to be change, I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases…if they did this to me, imagine what they could have done to a person of color who doesn’t maybe have the resources I do or who is not widely publicized like my case.”
But the part of the interview most notable to Cockburn was Rittenhouse’s criticism of the lawyers who initially represented him, Lin Wood and John Pierce.
Wood, as you may know, is a high-profile attorney who these days works at the lunatic fringe of the American right. He peddles stop-the-steal nonsense about the 2020 election and has predicted Mike Pence will “face execution by firing squad” for “treason.” He is also a QAnon rabble rouser who frequently appears with Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn at gatherings for the followers of “Q.”
In his Tucker interview, Rittenhouse accused Wood of profiting off of his arrest by deliberately keeping him in jail so they could raise money for his bail. Rather than set him free, he said, Wood wanted to keep him behind bars and cash in. Pierce was fighting a pointless battle to prevent Rittenhouse from being extradited from an Illinois juvenile facility to Kenosha. Rittenhouse: “I always wanted to be extradited, and I had no problem with that. But he forgot to file the stay and he didn’t even know I was going. So my attorney didn’t know I was going to jail, which is quite sickening because he should have known.”
Rittenhouse accused Pierce of telling him that it was “not a good idea” to go home and that he’d be “safer in jail.” The exonerated teenager also blamed Pierce for spreading the “blatantly false” idea that he was in an “unorganized militia” and for suggesting that he do an interview with the Washington Post after his arrest.
Cockburn can report that, as with many things, this is ultimately about cash. Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail is in dispute. The three-way scrap between Pierce, Wood and the Rittenhouse family is only going to get uglier. But Cockburn knows there’s only one proper place for the money to go.
Cockburn also wonders whether this is the end of Wood. These days, Wood is beyond the pale even for some of the kookier faces of the American far-right. And he surely realizes that criticism from Rittenhouse amounts to excommunication. “I’ve told everyone what a horrible person Lin Wood is,” tweeted Marjorie Taylor Greene last night. “Lin should go to jail for what he did to Kyle.”
“Lin Wood is a sleazeball,” tweeted MAGA hanger on (Dr.) Sebastian Gorka.
Cockburn is here for this swivel-eyed bunfight. And he could barely control the laughter when MTG also blamed Wood for the twin Georgia Senate defeats in the January run-off. “He grifted off of Trump & told people not to vote on Jan 5th saying their vote would be stolen,” she said.
MTG, after all, is one of the most vocal exponents of the stolen election nonsense. Will she be following her own advice when it comes to future elections?
In the meantime, Cockburn wishes Mr. Rittenhouse well, and hopes he will be left alone by both the right-wingers hoping to cash in on his tribulations and the liberal media outlets and politicians who spent more than a year denigrating him.
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