Richard Spencer's attorney leaves 'ideas' foundation

The Detroit News
Kyle Bristow


Kyle Bristow, the Clinton Township attorney who has represented white nationalist Richard Spencer in his attempts to give speeches at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, is resigning from the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas that he founded in 2016, he announced Saturday.

When Spencer speaks at MSU on Monday, Bristow wrote, he won't be there, nor will he attend the foundation's conference in Detroit this weekend, despite his characterization of it as an occasion "where attendees will merely dine on appetizers and drink beverages from an open bar as they mingle."

Another attorney has taken over his role as attorney for Cameron Padgett in his lawsuits against Ohio State University, which as the Associated Press wrote recently has "declined to accommodate Spencer speech requests so far." Padgett books speaking gigs for Spencer.

"AFMI will be transferred to the control of someone else to manage so its mission can be advanced, or else it will be dissolved," Bristow wrote. 

"In recent weeks, journalists have published horrifically disparaging articles about me which contain acerbic, offensive, juvenile and regrettable statements I mostly made over a decade ago while I was in college," the letter begins.

Bristow writes that though "there is a side to the story which the media is not telling," the decision to distance himself from the foundation and its activities, and to delete his Twitter account is "morally right." 

Near the end, Bristow writes that he regrets "having previously used language which is needlessly offensive." 

No date has yet been set for Spencer to speak at UM, and a UM spokeswoman said last week there was nothing new to report. Bristow had said he'd sue if no date was set.