At the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Rainey Reitman and Jillian C. York point out:
While it’s understandable that, in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot, people are grasping for ways to limit the spread of right-wing extremism, the demand that companies prevent individuals from raising funds for a legal defense is deeply troubling. Our adversarial judicial system is built on the idea that people -- even guilty people -- should have access to a fair trial with adequate representation. In a criminal case, that ideal is often elusive, with the government having nigh unlimited resources, especially for a high profile case, while most defendants have few resources at all.
Demanding that companies deny individuals the ability to effectively raise funds for a defense attorney tilts the playing field from the start. People would be outraged if, for instance, protesters detained during last summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations were de-platformed by fundraising sites.
It seems to me that there's an opportunity here -- perhaps for some association of defense attorneys or a civil liberties organization with a brief for defending defendants' rights to due process, representation, etc. -- to create a crowd-funding site that's:
- Committed to (and legally bound to) raise funds that, once aggregated, go directly to a defendant's attorney's "Interest on Lawyer Trust Account," so that the funds can't be diverted to other purposes/uses; and
- Committed to non-discrimination between defendants on principle.