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As Kyle Rittenhouse Speaks For First Time Since Acquittal, Question Of Who Gets His $2 Million In Bail Money Is Up In The Air

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all criminal charges in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but now he is facing a new legal battle - who gets to keep the $2 million dollars bond that was posted for him?

It is a tangled web of possibilities that CBS 2's Charlie De Mar broke down on Monday night.

Rittenhouse spoke to Tucker Carlson on Fox News Monday night. He slammed his former defense team – saying they let him stay in jail longer than necessary and used him as a political pawn.

Now, that defense team is suddenly back in the picture.

"I was an innocent 17-year-old who was violently attacked and defended myself," Rittenhouse told Carlson.

This was the first time Rittenhouse spoke since he was acquitted last Friday. A Wisconsin jury agreed that he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Michael Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and shot and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, during civil unrest in Kenosha in late August 2020 that stemmed from the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police.

Rittenhouse also told Carlson that he was "not a racist person," saying he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and peaceful demonstrations. The issue was one of self-defense, he said.

"To be honest, Tucker, this case has nothing to do with race. It never had to do with race," Rittenhouse said. "It had to do with the right to self-defense."

But in the days after Rittenhouse won his freedom, there is another legal battle brewing - and it is a fight over money, specifically the $2 million posted on Rittenhouse's behalf that is now up for grabs.

"There's going to be a fight over that," said Rittenhouse's current defense attorney, Mark Richards.

Richards believes that the money should go to Rittenhouse himself.

Some of the funds, about $500,000, were raised by Rittenhouse's mother, Wendy Rittenhouse. But it gets messy — the money was posted by Rittenhouse's former attorney, John Pierce, and therefore, Pierce has access to claim the money.

In a court filing, Pierce says he doesn't want the cash and has no plans to collect it.

But along with Pierce, another ex-attorney for Rittenhouse was Lin Wood. Wood says the money was raised by his right-wing Fight Back Foundation, and claims the money belongs to him.

"Being used for a cause by John Pierce and Lin Wood — trying to solicit, not solicit, trying to raise money so they can take it for their own benefit, not trying to set me free," Rittenhouse said.

Rittenhouse also said he did not believe he should ever have been the figurehead for a cause.

"People using me for a cause, that should never have been used for a cause," he said. "It wasn't Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin. It was the right to self-defense on trial."

Richards, the defense attorney who ultimately ended up representing Rittenhouse in his criminal case, was asked what he thought the turning point in the entire case was. His response was getting rid of Rittenhouse's first two attorneys.

Again, remains is unclear who will end up with that money.


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