Kyle Rittenhouse has managed to raise over $200,00 in donations after pleading for help to pay his legal bills as he faces two fresh lawsuits related to the Kenosha shooting in August 2020.
By late February, Rittenhouse’s campaign on Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo—whose goal is to raise a total of $500,000—had received just over $109,000. The campaign received a sudden boost in donations after the embattled 20-year-old appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, asking for support in raising money for the legal costs he’s currently facing.
Since his acquittal of all criminal charges relating to the shooting, Rittenhouse has turned into something of a rightwing celebrity, appearing repeatedly on several conservative media outlets—including Fox News.
The surge in donations following his appearance on Carlson’s show demonstrates that Rittenhouse remains a popular figure among some conservatives across the country, who see him as a figurehead of the Second Amendment.
Rittenhouse is facing lawsuits from a man whom he shot and injured in August 2020 during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the father of a man he shot and killed—John Huber, the father of Anthony Huber.
On August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse—then aged 17—shot three men in Kenosha as riots unfolded following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old man. The then teenager, who was armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle, claimed he was there to protect property against looters and help as a medic. He shot and killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who survived.
Rittenhouse was later tried for homicide and attempted homicide, but he was cleared of all charges, as a jury backed his claims that he acted in self-defense. Despite being formally acquitted in November 2021, Rittenhouse is facing two new lawsuits looking into his responsibility in the killing of the two men in 2020 and the role of law enforcement. One was filed earlier in February by Grosskreutz, who’s suing Rittenhouse and Kenosha law enforcement in the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Wisconsin, seeking relief in the form of economic damages for “emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering.”
Another lawsuit against Rittenhouse and Kenosha law enforcement, originally filed by John Huber in 2021, was allowed to proceed by a Wisconsin federal judge in early February.
Talking to Carlson on February 22, Rittenhouse described the lawsuits as “ridiculous,” “very frustrating” and “upsetting.”
“This is honestly to me an attack on our Second Amendment rights, and our rights to self-defense, and it’s saying, if you use your God given right to self-defense, they’re going to come after you,” he said.
“If you win in court, you’re acquitted–rightfully so. They’re going to take you to civil court, they’re going to take you for everything you’re worth, they’re going to drive you into bankruptcy and drown you in a mountain of legal bills.”
Newsweek has contacted Fox News and Rittenhouse for comment.
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