David Hancock, the former Navy SEAL responsible for involving lawyers Lin Wood and John Pierce in Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense efforts, reportedly also manages the teen’s finances and contacts while being subject to a $1 million lawsuit.
Attorney Robert Barnes claims Hancock essentially “kidnapped” the family, and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne believes Rittenhouse is being “manipulated.”
Hancock first became known in political circles when he was the executive director of Fight Back, a non profit founded by controversial lawyer John Pierce weeks before Rittenhouse successfully and legally defended himself from a violent mob of rioters using lethal force. According to Hancock, he was providing personal and network security services for Wood when he saw the famous videos of Rittenhouse defending himself, and immediately pushed his employer to help the teen.
Hancock was photographed with Rittenhouse when the teen visited 45th President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club and estate on November 23.
Kyle Rittenhouse met Donald Trump at Mar a Lago today, per @seanhannity who has the exclusive photo pic.twitter.com/SFG9M1kJ3a
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) November 24, 2021
Claims that Lin Wood and John Pierce exploited Kyle Rittenhouse began to intensify with the release of a Law & Crime podcast featuring audio recordings of Lin Wood that were given to the publication by John Hancock, who was himself interviewed extensively for the production. Wood has disputed the authenticity of at least one of the recordings, and claims that his conversations with Hancock were taken out of context.
Wood previously suggested criminal defense attorneys Pierce and Mark Richards would have been responsible for determining when the teen’s bail should be paid, and Wood has stressed that he signed a personal guarantee of $150,000 with the goal of helping with Rittenhouse’s bail. He has repeatedly denied using Rittenhouse to grift.
For his interview with Law & Crime, released in March of this year, Hancock gave the publication secretly recorded audio he claims shows Wood declaring himself to have the God-given prophet-like ability of clairvoyance. In the audio, Wood appeared to suggest that his ability to see into the future aided him in the trial of Richard Jewell.
In a separate recording, again secretly obtained by Hancock and given to Law & Crime, Wood appeared to suggest Rittenhouse was “safer in” the Kenosha jail where the teen says he spent 20 days languishing without running water despite Fight Back having raised enough funds to pay his bail.
“If things get half as bad as I think they’ll get, he stays there, and nobody’s going to care about handling criminal or civil cases,” Wood appeared to say in secretly recorded audio provided by Hancock.
In one recording, the police were called to Wood’s estate in South Carolina after Hancock alleges that Wood grabbed the pistol from Hancock’s holster and behaved erratically. Wood disputes this series of events, and claims he was disarming Hancock, who he in turn says was behaving erratically.
An email that appears to show Wood reiterating the claim that Rittenhouse would be safer in jail was posted to the Free Kyle USA Twitter account earlier this month. In the email, a person identified as Andrew informed Wood on September 8, 2020 that “Bail for Kyle does not look viable at the moment. Despite the $2MM bail assigned in Kenosha, Kyle is being held ‘no bail’ for the extradition proceedings in Lake County.”
“Thanks, Andrew. Focus needs to stay on fighting and delaying extradition,” Wood allegedly wrote in response. “Kyle is safe and per John, is doing okay. He may be much safer in juvenile facility right now than out in the world.”
Safer would have been home with his family… pic.twitter.com/UxYdppOpz5
— Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund (@freekyleusa) November 23, 2021
In his public appearances, Rittenhouse has stated that he did not want his lawyers to resist extradition charges to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse and his other lawyers believed the teen’s bail, which was already set at $2 million, could be processed quickly in Kenosha, and that Rittenhouse should go there to prove his innocence.
However, Rittenhouse has also stated that the Illinois jail was far superior in standards to the jail in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse claims he was forced to languish for 20 days without running water in the Kenosha jail as his lawyers failed to pay his bail.
A separate email, retweeted by the Free Kyle USA Twitter account, appears to feature Wood identifying himself as the lead attorney for Rittenhouse.
“I am lead counsel overall for Kyle but John Pierce is leading the criminal defense team,” Wood allegedly wrote on September 25, 2020. “My involvement in the criminal matter is to provide advice and strategy input as needed. My efforts in those proceedings are pro bono.”
In the below email, Wood affirms he was “lead counsel overall for Kyle, but John Pierce is leading the criminal defense team. My involvement in the criminal matter is to provide advice and strategy input as needed.”
This directly contradicts his claims, which I’ll link to below. pic.twitter.com/23Izo1zTf5
— D a r t h C r y p t o (Kyle is FREE) (@DefNotDarth) November 27, 2021
According to Rittenhouse, both Wood and Pierce left the teen in a Kenosha jail cell with no running water for over two months despite having raised enough money to immediately pay for his bail.
Wendy Rittenhouse, the teen’s mother, also condemned Wood and lauds Hancock in the Law & Crime podcast released earlier this year.
Kyle Rittenhouse tells Tucker Carlson that Lin Wood and John Pierce could have bailed him out of jail in September but kept him in there until November to “raise money so they can take it for their own benefit. Not trying to set me free.” pic.twitter.com/wejY86igiY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 23, 2021
Hancock Is Subject To $1 Million Lawsuit Over Rittenhouse Fundraising
While the claims against Wood are harmful if proven, and at times appear backed by audio that seems to serve as evidence, Hancock has now become a target of suspicion regarding his close relationship with Rittenhouse. He is also the subject of a $1 million lawsuit over his handling of The Milo Fund, the non profit organization used to raise funds for Rittenhouse after Wood, Pierce, and Fight Back were expelled from the defense team.
According to two sources who spoke with National File, this new fundraising group was initially conceived as a joint effort between Pierce and Hancock after the two determined it would be in the teen’s best interest to cut ties with Wood. Soon, Hancock also expelled Pierce from The Milo Fund after the lawyer allegedly tried to cash in on the $2 million bail secured for Rittenhouse. This was apparently first reported by a man named Gordon Rose.
It is at this point that Gordon Rose, a former telecom industry expert who has transitioned into a full time career in investigative journalism and political activism, told National File that he entered into a large contract with The Milo Fund and Hancock via his company Clip Artist Films. According to Rose, once in full control of Rittenhouse’s fundraising, Hancock signed an ill-advised agreement to send text messages with fundraising copy on behalf of the teen.
In this agreement, per Rose, Rittenhouse would only receive 20% of each donation, with the vendor responsible for sending the texts receiving 80% of the proceeds.
Rose told National File that, despite this highly disadvantageous and irregular agreement, Hancock raised $250,000 for Rittenhouse using this vendor. When Rose advised that Hancock should explore whether the text messages were sent in full compliance with cell phone company policies and applicable law, Rose told National File that Hancock used the vendor’s potential violations to keep the full sum.
In his lawsuit, Rose asserts that Hancock then enlisted his firm, Clip Artist Film LLC, to secure a legal opinion on how to best raise funds using text messages for the teen, and then implement a fundraising strategy to pay for Rittenhouse’s legal defense. Rose told National File that the value of the contract was $4 million.
11_11_2021 Press Release ClipArtistFilmLLCvTheMiloFund
However, Rose asserts that before his company could attain a legal opinion and resume text message-based fundraising for the teen, Hancock “shotgunned” efforts to bring in cash using unapproved fundraising copy in a violation of The Milo Fund’s contract with Clip Artist Film LLC.
This, according to Rose, led to Rittenhouse’s text message-based fundraising efforts being banned from the Verizon network. Rose also told National File that he was never compensated for his efforts to help Rittenhouse. In his press release, Rose asserts:
Many of the alleged breaches of contract by Hancock were violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA); whether by accident or on purpose, David Hancock sabotaged those efforts for fundraising, and that is the basis of the lawsuit brought by Clip Artist Film LLC. After Gordon Rose and Clip Artist Film LLC exposed these breaches of contract, David Hancock then began a vicious smear campaign against Mr. Rose, in order to destroy his reputation, resulting in a defamation claim currently at 1.5 million dollars, also in the suit.
As Rose noted in his press release, he is far from the only individual to express concern or frustration with Hancock’s alleged control over 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.
Robert Barnes: Hancock ‘Hijacked & Kidnapped’ Rittenhouse Family
Attorney Robert Barnes, who represented Rittenhouse until he left the legal team due to various disagreements in its defense plan, recently told YouTube personality Viva Frei that Hancock has “basically hijacked and kidnapped the family, functionally.”
“I’m told that I can’t meet with them unless this guy David Hancock is there in the room,” said Barnes, before referring to Rose’s lawsuit. “There is a lawsuit filed that I’m the registered agent for [against] The Milo Fund,” Barnes added, “Which is the fund that is the fundraising fund. And I’m concerned by the allegations raised in the suit.”
Barnes explained to the audience that “The allegations in the suit are [that] it’s a million dollar plus claim against The Milo Fund. It claims that this guy David Hancock is secretly running it all, that he’s basically in control of the family, in control of the family finances, in control of The Milo Fund. And all the things that I’d been told had been corrected back in February, now I have to wonder whether it’s true.”
Barnes told the audience that he then asked for “the audited financials” which he said “had been promised to me all along.” According to Barnes, the financials were meant to show that “Wendy Rittenhouse is the owner of the fund, is the trustee, is the signatory.” Barnes exclaimed, “Suddenly that’s unavailable.”
“And then a few days later suddenly I’m out” of the legal team and The Milo Fund, Barnes explained. “And suddenly everyone else is excluded, and nobody can help.”
“I mean, no better way to hijack a kid than to be his sole source of food, his sole source of groceries, his sole source of housing, his sole source of utilities, sole source of medicine for he and his family.”
Patrick Byrne Says Rittenhouse Is ‘Manipulated’
Patrick Byrne, the former Overstock CEO who became a celebrity among the pro-Trump right after he attempted to help 45th President Donald Trump challenge the controversial 2020 election, has also expressed concerns about Rittenhouse being controlled. These remarks surfaced in a recorded phone call between Lin Wood and Patrick Byrne, released via Lin Wood’s Telegram channel.
Wood’s conversation with Byrne spans nearly 20 minutes. In his conversation with Byrne, Wood complains that Gen. Michael Flynn and other perceived allies should have done more to help Wood after Rittenhouse claimed the lawyer exploited the teen during Rittenhouse’s appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
“I don’t know what’s going on with David Hancock, I personally think he’s a CIA or Deep State operative,” said Wood toward the end of the phone call. “I believe that because he’s been attacking me for over a year and a half. There’s no reason for him to be obsessed with me unless he’s paid to do it, so I wanted it stopped and I still want it stopped, so if I can’t get it done by telling people to back off I’ll start filing lawsuits.”
After confirming that he would still be welcome at Wood’s impressive South Carolina estate, Tomotley, Byrne suggested that Rittenhouse is being “manipulated.”
“When I saw Kyle say that the other night, it didn’t occur to me for a second that he was telling the truth,” said Byrne, as Wood suggested he make his remarks public. “I don’t think he knows he’s lying, I think he’s being manipulated by somebody.” Byrne added, “Somebody told him to do that.”
David Hancock On Kyle Rittenhouse
After Kyle Rittenhouse was fully acquitted at trial, David Hancock was described as a family spokesman and was asked what he believes may be in Rittenhouse’s future.
“He’s got some things to say, and I think you’re going to be even more surprised by who Kyle actually is as he gets, as more people get to know him.” Regarding Kyle’s feeling toward the verdict, Hancock said “Relief, absolute relief, this has been a long road. He is a innocent, and he can live a free life now, but there are no winners in this.”
Kyle Rittenhouse’s family spokesman David Hancock says Kyle’s “got some things to say and I think you’re going to be even more surprised by who Kyle actually is as more people get to know him better.” pic.twitter.com/wFa2QDbuLe
— Ben Jordan (@BenJordan3) November 19, 2021