Lin Wood Kept Kyle Rittenhouse in Jail Because He Feared 'Armageddon': Report

The mother of Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse claims attorney Lin Wood kept him in jail for months in order to protect him from what he feared would be a post-election breakdown of society.

Wendy Rittenhouse, whose 18-year-old son is charged with two counts of murder in connection to the shootings at a Black Lives Matter protest in August 2020, claimed Wood thought he would be safer at an Illinois youth facility because "Armageddon" was approaching.

Speaking to the Law & Crime podcast Objections: With Adam Klasfeld, Wendy Rittenhouse called for an audit into the money Wood raised for the suspect via his FightBack Foundation. She also claimed Wood and fellow attorney John Pierce used Kyle Rittenhouse's image "for their own political s***."

Wood came to prominence as a defamation lawyer whose high-profile clients included Richard Jewell, a man falsely accused of setting off a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Wood is now perhaps better known as a Donald Trump supporter and an influential figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory. The biography on his now-suspended Twitter account includes an abbreviation of the QAnon slogan "Where we go one we go all."

Wood also worked with fellow QAnon-supporting attorney Sidney Powell in the widely mocked "Kraken" lawsuits that attempted to overturn election results to help Trump, who is a savior-like figure for QAnon followers.

The attorney has made a series of controversial comments that have led his own family to express concern about his wellbeing. These include suggestions that he could be the second coming of Jesus Christ, unsubstantiated claims linking Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and calls for former Vice President Mike Pence to "face execution by firing squad" because he did not stop the certification of Joe Biden's election victory.

Speaking to Objections, Wendy Rittenhouse claimed that Wood believed it was best for her son to stay behind bars after he was charged, because he feared a breakdown of society around election night.

"He told me that my son would be safe in jail because he thought that on the night of the election…that there was going to be Armageddon going to happen and Kyle was safer in jail," she said.

"I told Lin, 'I want my son home. He needs to be home with his family. He needs to be home with his mom and his two sisters' and he goes, 'He's safer there.'"

Kyle Rittenhouse was released from detention on November 20 after Wood and Pierce raised his $2 million bail thanks to a successful campaign by the FightBack Foundation.

Dave Hancock, former executive director of FightBack, also told the podcast Wood had said Kyle Rittenhouse should be kept in jail for his own safety.

"Lin kept Kyle in jail because he believed that the election would bring what he considered to be the 'final harvest,'" Hancock said. "He believed the world would be in utter shambles when the election was either over, or shortly thereafter."

Objections played a recorded message from Wood that appeared to back up the claim.

"Keep this boy in that youth facility in Illinois," Wood can be heard saying on the recording.

"And the longer he can stay there, the better, because if things get as bad as they could, half as bad as I think they will get, he's safe there and nobody's going to care much about handling criminal or civil cases. And so time is our friend with him in Illinois."

"To me, that felt like they didn't care about my son's wellbeing," Wendy Rittenhouse added. "He sat there for 87 days, every day John [Pierce] said, 'He's coming home, he's coming home.'

"I was at a point where he was saying that and I was giving up hope."

She also accused Pierce and Wood of "playing with my emotions" by repeatedly telling her that her son would be freed soon.

Responding to the claims he wanted Kyle Rittenhouse to remain in custody, Wood told Newsweek: "The criminal defense lawyers made all decisions regarding Kyle. I am not a criminal defense attorney and did not make those decisions. I did express concerns about Kyle's safety due to social media threats on his life."

Hancock told Objections that the FightBack Foundation, set up in the weeks before the Kenosha shooting, originally aimed to be as bipartisan as possible.

That changed, he said, when Wood "hopped on" Kyle Rittenhouse's case.

"I believe wholeheartedly, especially today, that this kid acted in pure self-defense," Hancock said. "I brought it up to Lin. So Lin started tweeting about it. And then I said, 'We have to make sure that this kid—like, he's going to get torn up in the media, this kid needs help.'"

Hancock claimed that Wood instead used Kyle Rittenhouse's case to stoke a culture war and eventually FightBack's only mission was "bringing in as many donations to help Kyle Rittenhouse."

Both Wendy Rittenhouse and Hancock have called for an audit into the funds and Wood.

In December, Pierce stepped away from the criminal defense team after Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger argued that he should not be involved in the case because of his "significant personal financial difficulties." Binger said: "Money that should be held in trust for the defendant may instead be used to repay attorney Pierce's numerous creditors."

Attorney Mark Richards is now representing Rittenhouse in the criminal trial.

"I asked Lin, 'Where's the money?' I wanted to see the books, like the accounting books," Wendy Rittenhouse said. "He said, 'Yeah, I'll get them to you.'

"I asked him why is Mark not getting paid. He told me: 'Lawyers can wait until the end to get paid.' That didn't sit well with me, because he had my son's life in his hands."

In a statement to Objections, Wood denied receiving any request for an audit but said he and FightBack would be "perfectly willing to undergo any audit required by law."

Newsweek has contacted Wood for further comment.

lin wood
Attorney Lin Wood (C) speaks to the media outside a Los Angeles court on December 3, 2019. The mother of Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse claims Wood kept him in jail for months to protect him from "Armageddon." Apu Gomes//Getty Images

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