Is it All Connected?
The paths of Steve Bannon’s new lawyer Robert J. Costello, Rudy Giuliani, and Kyle Rittenhouse attorney John M. Pierce have previously crossed.
News is out that attorney Robert J. Costello will defend Steve Bannon against “We Build a Wall” criminal fraud charges. Costello is also connected to former counsel for Rudy Giuliani, and current counsel for Kyle Rittenhouse, John M. Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge; the same Pierce who some have suggested may be involved in a similar scam with respect to donations for the Kenosha shooter. Costello and Pierce are no strangers. Indeed — notwithstanding Pierce’s issues with cocaine, booze, taxes, personal debt, professional debt, physically assaulting a co-worker, misogyny, child support, and domestic violence restraining orders — just a few months ago, Bannon’s new lawyer vouched for the Los Angeles based Pierce to practice law in New York.
In addition to these issues, as noted in the Daily Sound & Fury, Bannon, Pierce or Giuliani, have been involved with a:
- suggested beheading;
- threat to a Harvard Law School educated ex-wife: “I will bury you if I have to;”
- “ample opportunity for self-dealing and fraud;”
- press conference between a sex shop and a crematorium; and
- unprecedented series of election lawsuits failure (which is similar to John Pierce’s firm’s losing track record in defamation lawsuits).
Who is Robert J. Costello?
According to the New York Times, Costello is a “long time” Giuliani friend. Rudy’s legal team for Ukraine was announced as a co-counsel arrangement between Costello and Pierce’s then-firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP.
(Interestingly, about a week after Giuliani’s announcement, a litigation funding company based in Houston named Virage Capital Management made a $21 million loan commitment to Pierce Bainbridge. The corrupt firm proceeded to implode, was reported to owe Virage $65 million, Virage then said the Pierce Bainbridge defaulted on the debt, and the resulting situation is a multi-million dollar “Money Mystery.”)
Costello has replaced a lawyer who quit after Bannon suggested beheading Dr. Anthony Fauci or, in Bannon’s words, putting Dr. Fauci’s “head on a pike.”
Costello was also reportedly involved in failed efforts with Giuliani to keep Michael Cohen from turning on President Trump. Per Law & Crime, Cohen did not mince words in opining on the Costello and Bannon connection.
“If you have friends in low places, one day, all of them will meet at the bottom,” Cohen told Law & Crime in a text message. “In fact, Bannon and Costello are two low life, peas in a pod.”
The California State Bar
John Pierce has proven to be a disaster area, related news has been widespread, and questions have arisen concerning the role and function of the California State Bar.
Perhaps a sliver of insight is gleaned from a recent report in Mother Jones. According to the article, an attorney at the California State Bar, Scott D. Karpf, summarily dismissed a complaint against Pierce’s former Los Angeles Managing Partner, Amman Khan. (Khan now works at Withers Bergman / Withers Worldwide.)
The article suggests that a litigation adversary of Khan’s Russian Oligarch client accused the former Pierce Bainbridge attorney of setting in motion harassment measures. The complaint, however, was dismissed due to absence of “sufficient facts to support an investigation,” according to Mr. Karpf.
The article also notes a California bar complaint filed against Pierce for alleged witness intimidation in the Rittenhouse case.
Pierce Practicing Law in States Where He is Not Licensed
The Los Angeles-based Pierce recently stepped off the Rittenhouse criminal defense after his request to practice law in Wisconsin was opposed. Pierce withdrew his request mere hours after prosecutors expressed concern about the existence of “ample opportunity for self-dealing and fraud” given Pierce’s massive debt and involvement with unregulated donations to Rittenhouse.
Months earlier, Pierce similarly turned tail in New York; the attorney’s request to practice from out of state was opposed, and the military-tough-talking, keyboard terror, ran along the next day.
The request was not challenged — such requests almost never are — Pierce was permitted to proceed. The same day Costello vouched for Pierce, a vendor sued Pierce’s firm for less than a$10,000 bill from February 2020. The day before Costello vouched for Pierce, August 18, a different vendor sued for sued based invoices dating all the way back to November 2018.
Does Robert J. Costello Really Know John M. Pierce?
One wonders how well Costello actually knows the guy for whom he put his name on the line.
Does Costello know that Pierce has:
- been the subject of two domestic violence restraining orders
- allegedly expressed an intense desire to kill the mother of his children
- admitted himself in August 2016: “I never grew up.”
- allegedly breached child support obligations
- owed over $1 million in taxes as of November 2019
- owed Citibank $90,000 as of November 2019
- lost his job at the K&L Gates law firm for physically assaulting a co-worker
- pilfered $2.5 million from a payday lender located at a residential address in Queens, New York — the very next day after Pierce Bainbridge allegedly stopped paying on another cash advance
- quintuple-pledged the same alleged future firm receivables for millions of dollars lenders, eventually resulting in a reported $70 million firm debt
- ran a law firm sued by 6 vendors and 4 cash advance lenders this year
- engaged in conduct which has resulted in details concerning his law firm’s relationships with litigation funder Virage Capital becoming public
- ran a firm that was reported earlier this year to owe Virage $65 million
- no-showed an arbitration hearing recently in which $3.5 million was awarded to two financial advisory companies who say the helped Pierce’s firm secure multi-millions from Virage.
- copped to problems with “substance abuse and other addictive behaviors,” which his Harvard Law School educated ex-wife says includes “cocaine.”
- had an ex-partner call Pierce a “narcissist sociopath,” and another ex-partner call Pierce a “fu*king lunatic;” both in writing as set forth in publicly filed court documents.
Did Costello know that Pierce’s former co-named partner David L. Hecht — who now runs a spin off firm Hecht Partners — has his own issues with honesty and ethics. The issues with David Hecht — who Pierce hand-picked as Pierce Bainbridge New York Office Managing Parner — include:
- a federal judge opining that Hecht ran afoul of the ethical rule on dishonesty;
- an ex-Pierce Bainbridge associate saying Hecht lied to a federal court;
- an ex-Pierce Bainbridge partners saying Hecht “deceptively spliced” messages to fit a “false narrative;” and
- Hecht’s own ex-clients in the Boeing 737 Max case testifying under oath that Hecht deceived them into signing up with his firm.
- Newly revealed emails show, despite Hecht claiming to have “resigned” from Pierce Bainbridge in March 2020, in July, August, September, October, and November, Hecht and Pierce were on work-related emails together. (This is captured in “Breaking up is hard to do. David Hecht of Hecht Partners and John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge.”
In addition to the alleged issues with the former Pierce Bainbridge New York and Los Angeles Office Managing Partners, the firm’s former General Counsel and District of Columbia Managing Partner, Carolynn K. Beck, has been accused of suborning perjury and spearheading a fraud on the court; a motion for sanctions is pending. Beck is now a partner at Goldstein & McClintock.
On top of this all, two former Pierce Bainbridge partners, Denver G. Edwards and Christopher N. LaVigne, lied under oath to try to cover- up financial misconduct at the firm, and also to protect John Pierce; the same John Pierce covered above. Edwards is now at Bradford Edwards & Varlack. LaVigne at Withers Bergman / Withers Worldwide.
Ultimately, Pierce’s firm — Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP — was apparently a cesspool of corruption.
Costello is reportedly Giuliani’s long time friend, Pierce says he’s Giuliani’s “close friend.”
Costello’s client Steve Bannon is accused of running a donations scam, concerns have been raised that perhaps John Pierce is running a scam with Rittenhouse himself.
Giuliani appears to be lying like it’s his job in the election fraud cases, some have said that Pierce “lies like he breathes.”
Lots of overlap, lots of connections, lots of shade.
Is it all connected?
- Addendum. Rudy Giuliani hired Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP in November 2019 for the Ukraine fiasco. A detailed review of the conduct of those affiliated with the law firm, including former Pierce Bainbridge attorneys, is covered in an eye-opening piece titled: “Gangland Tactics or Aggressive Lawyering?”
- Updated on 1/17/21 to add link to “Breaking is hard to do” based on newly revealed e-mails.