Lawyer for 17 Jan. 6 rioters reportedly on ventilator with COVID-19 infection

An attorney for 17 alleged Jan. 6 rioters is reportedly on a ventilator after being diagnosed with COVID-19. 

U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips in a document filed on Monday wrote that 20 current cases are on standstill due to the disappearance of the defendants' attorney, John Pierce.  

Phillips noted in the filing that one of Pierce’s associates, Ryan Marshall, has been filling in for Pierce during the past several court meetings and hearings. 


Marshall said in an Aug. 25 hearing that Pierce has been hospitalized with COVID-19 and is currently on a ventilator, according to the court document. 

“The United States thus finds itself in a position where this defendant and 16 other defendants charged in connection with the Capitol Riot appear to be effectively without counsel,” Phillips said in the court filing. 

Pierce, 49, became a household name last summer for signing on to represent Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused of killing two people during protests of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, according to ABC News. 

However, Rittenhouse’s family dropped Pierce as their attorney in February, with their newly appointed attorney Robert Barnes claiming that Pierce’s behavior in the case was in pursuit of his own interests rather than that of his client's, ABC News reported.

"Throughout the entire representation, John Pierce's behavior elevated the interest of John Pierce over his client. And once that became crystal clear that he would just continue to do so, Kyle and his mom made the choice that they made to get rid of him," Barnes said, according to ABC News, adding that Pierce was "utterly unqualified for any role" in Rittenhouse's defense.

Pierce, who also represented former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE’s former personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiFormer NYC police commissioner to testify before Jan. 6 committee, demands apology Midterms are coming: Will we get answers on Jan. 6 before it's too late? Subpoenas show Jan. 6 panel's focus on Trump's plans MORE, frequently shared misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and conspiracy theories about the Jan 6. insurrection on his Twitter page.