MILWAUKEE – Cases against 17 of the more than 500 people indicted in the Jan.6 uprising on the United States Capitol are on hold after their lawyer – who once represented Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse – went missing.
An associate told a judge lawyer John M. Pierce was in an accident, then told another judge Pierce was in fact on a ventilator, hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a notice filed by prosecutors in court in Washington, DC on Monday.
The opinion, filed in the case of Casey Cusik, said it was intended to ensure that the court is aware that it could take “whatever steps it deems necessary to ensure that the rights of the accused are properly protected “while Pierce remains hospitalized.
They note that the US attorney’s office in Washington has not had any contact with Pierce since August 23, when he last appeared for a hearing for one of his clients.
No other lawyer represents so many people indicted in the January 6 uprising.
The person appearing in Pierce’s place since then is Ryan J. Marshall, 30, called a partner in Pierce’s law firm, Pierce Banbridge.
Marshall is not a licensed district attorney, and is unlikely to be anytime soon; Marshall was indicted earlier this month in a bribery scheme in Fayette County, Pa., Where he worked as a paralegal.
In one of his last appearances for an accused on January 6, Marshall told a prosecutor on Thursday that he had in fact not had direct contact with Pierce and was receiving conflicting information from other friends. of Pierce on whether or not he was suffering from COVID. -19.
“The United States is in a position where this defendant and 16 other defendants charged in connection with the Capitol Riot appear to be effectively without a lawyer,” wrote Deputy US lawyer Anne McNamara.
“From a government perspective, given Mr. Pierce’s reported illness and the fact that Mr. Marshall is not a licensed lawyer, this case has effectively stalled,” she wrote.
Pierce did not respond to prosecutors’ efforts to reach him by phone or email. Her office phone in Los Angeles appears to be disconnected, her old cell phone number is no longer hers and calls to a newer cell phone go directly to voicemail, according to another media report.
Pierce is generally a fierce and frequent Twitter user, but hasn’t tweeted anything since August 20.
Even before the Rittenhouse case propelled his profile into the conservative stratosphere, Pierce had been pursued by lawsuits over the operations of his Los Angeles law firm, which he said would quickly become the premier litigation firm in the United States. country, but rather quickly disintegrated.
His treatment of the first few months of the Rittenhouse case came under fierce criticism from the current Rittenhouse team, who remain concerned that Pierce could try to claim the $ 2 million bail if Rittenhouse is acquitted of killing two people and injuring a third during riots in Kenosha. August 25, 2020.
Pierce and others used social media to encourage thousands of people to donate to Rittenhouse’s legal defense, but the money was controlled by a Texas nonprofit formed by Pierce and Lin Wood, a lawyer. Atlanta defamation specialist who has since been deeply involved in several unsuccessful lawsuits aimed at overturning the 2020 presidential election results.
Pierce submitted the $ 2 million to free Rittenhouse from prison in the form of a check drawn on his law firm account.
Don Lewis, a former legal partner who is suing Pierce, tells about Pierce’s career at Sunlight-Reports.com. “As I stated over two years ago in a lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court, ‘opening PB’s books would most likely reveal that Pierce is a fraudster and a con artist, lying to his partners, lying to the press, lying to his clients and lying to investors, ”Lewis said of Pierce’s latest legal drama.
“Sadly, carried along by inaction and delays in the justice system, as well as others charged with protecting the public, Pierce has left an ever-increasing trail of destruction in its path,” Lewis said.
Follow Bruce Vielmetti on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lawyer for 17 Defendants in Missing Jan.6 Capitol Insurgency Cases