An attorney known for his legal representation of controversial right-wing figures, including Kyle Rittenhouse and multiple Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, has mysteriously disappeared amid rumors he may be gravely ill with Covid-19, leaving 17 accused Jan. 6 rioters “effectively without legal counsel,” according to a Monday court filing.
Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips wrote in the document filed Monday morning that nearly 20 cases are at a standstill due to the disappearance of lawyer John Pierce.
According to the filing, an associate from Pierce’s law firm has been appearing in his place at court hearings and meetings with the government for “roughly the past week,” but “cannot ethically or legally represent Mr. Pierce’s client” as he is not a licensed attorney.
This associate, Ryan Marshall, told the court at a hearing on August 25 that he believed Pierce was hospitalized with Covid-19 “on a ventilator” and “unresponsive,” the filing says.
However, the U.S. attorney’s office said it has since received “conflicting information about Mr. Pierce’s health and whereabouts” from sources close to the lawyer.
The Attorney General’s Office said it has had “no contact” with Pierce “by phone, email or otherwise” since August 23 and noted that a Twitter account run by Pierce, which is usually very active, has not had a new post since August 20.