The Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal left unexpected fallout among a cast of conservative pundits in its wake, fueled by the teen’s QAnon-friendly former lawyer who has threatened legal action against Fox News stars Tucker Carlson and Dan Bongino.
After fellow right-wingers criticized him for his actions while representing Rittenhouse—particularly citing how he kept his client behind bars for an extended period of time—Lin Wood, the controversial defamation lawyer and Q-touting conspiracy theorist, has responded with a slew of legal threats. The resulting war of words has deteriorated to such a degree that now Wood has resorted to mocking the physical appearance of Bongino’s skull and “bruis[ed]” left eye.
After last month’s not-guilty verdict, Rittenhouse sat down for an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. The teenager ripped into both Wood and another ex-attorney, John Pierce, claiming the duo took “advantage” of him. After the interview’s airing, Wood claimed to The Daily Beast that the teen was being “manipulated” to speak out against his ex-lawyer.
During his chat with Carlson, Rittenhouse stated that Pierce allegedly left him in prison without running water because it was “safer in jail”—a legal approach the teen’s family believes was intended to line the pockets of his first two lawyers.
In addition to Carlson’s interview, which was actively critical of Wood, fellow Fox News star Bongino, a thrice-failed Republican congressional candidate turned right-wing radio kingpin, has routinely bashed Wood on his daily podcast for having allegedly mismanaged Rittenhouse’s initial bond.
The rather milquetoast tweaking has left Wood fuming, with the lawyer claiming Bongino is now part of an elaborate “deep state” plot with additional sinister ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. “Dan Bongino, Dan Bongino, Dan Bongino,” Wood wrote on Telegram last week, before labeling the Fox star a “Deep State Mockingbird” who once “protected Obama, Obama, Obama.” Bongino was, in fact, a U.S. Secret Service agent for many years and did protect then-President Barack Obama, but has not been affiliated with the government agency in years. The Fox News host did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
“Give these traitors to ‘We The People’ enough rope, and they eventually out themselves," Wood additionally wrote last week on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app beloved by the far right, while taking aim at right-wing foes including Carlson and Bongino, whom he deemed part of an extensive “deep state plot,” which he clarified as being “very, very deep.”
And on Monday morning, after Wood threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against Bongino, the Fox host fired back and issued a challenge: “Lets’ see who's got the guts,” he said. “I’ll tell you what, Lin, you put down [on] your Telegram, in writing, today, your hard evidence I have any connection whatsoever [to the CIA],” he said. “Let’s put down in writing your case."
No written legal documents have yet to be produced by Wood. Instead, the defamation lawyer has since taken to pointing out a dark patch under Bongino's left eyelid, posted a plethora of zoomed-in pictures of the talk radio host’s cranium.
Asked when his supposed litigation against Bongino and Carlson might actually be filed, Wood told The Daily Beast—in rather cryptic language—that the “deep state” would not serve as a “requirement to convert Dan Bongino into Defendant Bongino.”
“Watch it happen,” he added. “On my timing. Likely when Dan least expects it.”
The MAGA lawyer also claimed to The Daily Beast that he intends to take legal action against Carlson, whom Wood viewed as an ally in his fight against the supposed “deep state” only just last week in a conversation with The Daily Beast.
On Nov. 22, Wood declared that he and the Fox star were friends while noting Carlson had “wanted to come hunt” on one of the lawyer’s three massive South Carolina plantations. Asked by The Daily Beast at that point if Carlson was “deep state,” the defamation lawyer fumed: “What in the world kind of question is that?”
But following the Rittenhouse interview, Wood’s opinion appears to have flipped. Seemingly overnight, the Fox News primetime star is now part of the “deep state,” according to Wood. As such, the unhinged lawyer added on Wednesday afternoon, “Tucker will certainly be Defendant Carlson on my timing too.”
Beyond the legal threats, Wood published to Telegram a series of late 2020 text messages purportedly between the Fox News host and himself. In one message, which could not be independently verified by The Daily Beast, Carlson asserted himself to be “heavily armed.” (Fox News did not respond to a request for comment on this story.)
As for Wood, he might have to enlist the help of fellow lawyers if he hopes to file litigation against his growing list of fellow right-wing stars-turned-antagonists.
Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump official turned fish oil-hawking Salem radio host, was among the other right-wing media pundits Wood has attacked in recent days. Initially, Gorka provoked the lawyer after the Fox News interview, writing on Twitter that Wood "should be charged with fraud and aiding and abetting the false imprisonment” of the teenager.
Yet, the idea of criminal charges being filed against Wood—which Gorka first floated—didn’t go over well. In a conversation with The Daily Beast, Wood claimed Gorka’s assertion was without any merit, invoking the right-wing radio host's questionable academic past. Then, for good measure, the lawyer added in a text message to The Daily Beast that the ex-Trump official is a “shill with a fake accent.” Gorka responded to a Daily Beast request for comment by questioning why he should be “worried about” what Wood has to say.
But Wood—who once proposed former Vice President Mike Pence be executed—doesn’t intend to stop at Bongino, Carlson, and Gorka.
“I plan to file defamation actions against all republishers of the false accusation of Kyle Rittenhouse,” Wood claimed, listing off the likes of Republican Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Marjorie Taylor Greene, along with the hosts of Fox & Friends, and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec as future defendants.
“I’ll sue every damn one of them,” he declared. “They acted with reckless disregard for truth or falsity. On my time, I am going to sue every damn one of them.”