Mark Richards, Kyle Rittenhouse's lead attorney, center, stands in from of his team in court.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Attorney Says Republicans Trying To Profit off of His Client Are “Cheap” & “Disgusting”

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Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer went on Fox News Monday and shared some of the advice he’s given to his client, which was to “change his name and start his life over.”

Mark Richards said that in his opinion, this would be a better option than letting his name be co-opted by those looking to cash in on his newfound celebrity and turn him into “a symbol of something I don’t think he wants to necessarily be associated with.”

Rittenhouse himself recently gave an interview to Tucker Carlson (yuck) where he said he supports the Black Lives Matter movement. To what degree you believe that is true is up to you but it does certainly put a damper on the Republican politicians and other public figures who have been gleefully celebrating Rittenhouse’s acquittal, presenting him as a “hero” and gloating about his ability to shoot and kill protesters without consequences.

These people are treating the verdict—a verdict that involves the deaths of two people—like a Super Bowl win and it’s incredibly disturbing.

Richards told Fox News that “there’s a lot of people who want to use Kyle for their own means.” At least one progressive PAC has used Rittenhouse’s name recently to fundraise for Democratic political candidates so this isn’t a purely partisan issue. But the absolute glee coming from the right in trying to capitalize on the verdict and lionize Rittenhouse for killing protesters is especially gross.

Specifically answering a question about the Republican members of Congress who have talked about getting Rittenhouse on their staff—which includes Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and Madison Cawthorne—Richards said, “People want to use his name, get it out there so they can get some publicity. I think it’s cheap. That’s what I think.”

That was the Fox News answer but speaking to Business Insider over the weekend, Richards used even harsher language, calling those attempts to profit off of Rittenhouse “disgusting.”

“There’s a lot of people trying to profit on this, and I don’t think people should,” he said. “They’re raising money on it and you have all these Republican congressmen saying come work for me. They want to trade on his celebrity and I think it’s disgusting.”

One of those disgusting people celebrating Rittenhouse for shooting protesters is Donald Trump Jr. In a since-deleted tweet, he wrote, “Gun Owners of America is sending Kyle Rittenhouse an AR-15. Sign the card in support of Kyle. Americans have a fundamental right to defend themselves and to keep and bear arms. The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial is a recognition of those rights.”

When asked what he thought of that, Richards said, “He’s an idiot. I don’t have to expand on that because it speaks for itself.”

I wasn’t expecting to agree with Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorney about anything ever but here we are. Don Jr.’s stupidity really is the great unifier.

(via HuffPost, image: Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.