Capitol Riot Lawyer John Pierce Mysteriously Hospitalized

  • The prominent right-wing attorney John Pierce has been hospitalized, a colleague confirmed to Insider.
  • Pierce represents multiple alleged Capitol rioters, and was fired earlier this year by Kyle Rittenhouse.
  • One report said Pierce was on a ventilator with COVID-19, which Pierce’s colleague did not confirm or deny.

John Pierce, the conservative attorney who was fired by Kyle Rittenhouse and has represented at least 17 Capitol riot defendants, has been hospitalized, one of his colleagues confirmed to Insider.

The national security journalist Marcy Wheeler first reported Wednesday that one of Pierce’s colleagues, Ryan Marshall, appeared on the lawyer’s behalf in a court hearing for a Capitol riot defendant.

Marshall told the judge Pierce couldn’t attend because he was “in the hospital, we believe, with COVID-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive,” according to Wheeler. 

Neither Pierce nor Marshall responded Wednesday to Insider’s inquiries, and multiple phone numbers for Pierce’s law firm, Pierce Bainbridge P.C., have been disconnected.

But Insider received an email late Wednesday from one of Pierce’s colleagues at the National Constitutional Law Union, a conservative legal organization Pierce founded to rival the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union, with an update on his condition.

The colleague, Brody Womack, confirmed that Pierce was hospitalized on Monday “due to symptoms that he believed might have been related to COVID-19.” He neither confirmed nor denied that Pierce was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was on a ventilator.

“John appears to have been suffering from dehydration and exhaustion in relation to his tireless work on behalf of his clients, including the many defendants he represents in connection with the January 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol,” the email read. “John, a former Army tank platoon leader, is a natural-born fighter – both in and out of the courtroom. While John remains under the care of his doctors, we expect him to make a full recovery. John and his family thank everyone for their concern.”

During a Thursday afternoon hearing for a different Capitol riot defendant, Peter Schwartz, Marshall again appeared on Pierce’s behalf.

Judge Amit Mehta said he couldn’t set a trial date “without knowing whether Mr. Pierce will be able to continue as counsel,” and asked for an update on the attorney’s condition at a hearing on September 2.

Pierce has been fired by both Rittenhouse and an alleged Capitol rioter

Pierce, who is known for his fiery Twitter presence, hasn’t posted on the platform since August 20. Just days earlier, he posted a skeptical tweet about the COVID-19 vaccine, saying, “The entire 82nd Airborne couldn’t make me get an experimental government vaccine stuck in my arm.”

Pierce previously represented Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old accused of shooting and killing two people and wounding a third during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. Rittenhouse’s family fired Pierce earlier this year, amid a fallout over the legal defense fund Pierce had helped set up alongside the far-right activist Lin Wood.

Rittenhouse’s family has said they never received a full accounting of the money the #FightBack Foundation raised in his name. Pierce previously told Insider he had no affiliation with #FightBack since taking Kyle’s case. 

At least one of Pierce’s Capitol riot defendants has already fired the attorney, according to court documents. Ryan Samsel, a Pennsylvania man charged with attacking a police officer until she lost consciousness, won a motion on August 12 to replace Pierce and retain a different lawyer.

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