GoFundMe says Rittenhouse fundraising OK now that he is acquitted

Why Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges in Kenosha shootings

Attorney Mercedes Colwin and former prosecutor Bob Bianchi react to the verdict on ‘FOX Business Tonight.’

GoFundMe issued a statement following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on Friday, explaining that fundraisers for the teen would now be allowed on the site – more than a year after the company pulled down every defense fund for him on its platform.

In its statement, GoFundMe said that its terms of service "prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime," so "once charges for violent crime were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse in 2020," they removed all of them.

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., with another armed civilian. The 17-year-old is accused of fatally shooting two protesters during a protest. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File) (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File / AP Newsroom)


"If someone is acquitted of those charges, as Rittenhouse was today, a fundraiser started subsequently for their legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy," the statement went on to say. "A fundraiser to pay lawyers, cover legal expenses or to help with ongoing living expenses for a person acquitted of those charges could remain active as long as we determine it is not in violation of any of our other terms and, for example, the purpose is clearly stated and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser."

But at the time that GoFundMe shut down all Rittenhouse defense funds in August of last year, they allowed countless fundraisers for the defense of other individuals accused of violent crimes. 

Wendy Rittenhouse, left, talks to her son Kyle Rittenhouse, before the start of his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP) (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP / iStock)

One of them was a defense fund for Marc Wilson, who claims he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed a 17-year-old girl in a purported road rage incident.

Wilson is currently on trial for murder in the case, yet the same GoFundMe that was created for him a few days after Rittenhouse's defense funds were stripped remains on GoFundMe.

Rittenhouse shot three people in self defense, killing two, during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, the jury decided in a verdict reached Friday.

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 19: Kyle Rittenhouse reacts as he is found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 19, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges in the shooting of three de (Photo by Sean Krajacic – Pool/Getty Images / Getty Images)


GoFundMe did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment on why the fundraiser for Wilson was and remains on the site despite their purging of what they said in Friday's statement were "hundreds of other fundraisers between August and December 2020 — unrelated to Rittenhouse — that we determined were in violation of this long-standing policy."

GoFundMe was hit with enormous backlash when it pulled down Rittenhouse fundraisers.

Ric Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence during the Trump administration, tweeted shortly after the Rittenhouse verdict Friday that GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan had "locked his account."

GoFundMe has not yet responded to FOX Business' questions as to when and why Mr. Cadogan's Twitter account was made private.

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