Division of Justice
Almost 14 months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, the primary trial of a defendant charged in reference to the lethal assault opens Monday in federal courtroom.
Man Reffitt, a Texas man who authorities say belongs to the self-styled Three Percenter militia motion, is charged with 5 counts, together with obstruction, civil dysfunction and coming into Capitol grounds with a firearm. He has pleaded not responsible.
The trial in U.S. District Court docket in Washington, D.C., is a milestone within the Capitol riot investigation, which officers say is among the largest and most advanced in American historical past. To this point, nearly 750 individuals have been charged and round 220 have pleaded responsible. Of these, greater than 100 have already been sentenced.
The courthouse is simply down the road from the Capitol, the place on Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob punched its approach by way of police traces and into the constructing as lawmakers had been assembly inside to certify Joe Biden’s election win.
The violent assault, which left greater than 100 law enforcement officials injured, quickly disrupted the certification of the Electoral Faculty rely.
Reffitt would be the first Jan. 6 defendant to take his case to trial. It’s anticipated to start Monday morning with jury choice and final round one week.
Prosecutors say Reffitt performed a “vital and harmful function” in riot
Prosecutors say Reffitt drove from his dwelling in Wylie, Texas, to Washington, D.C., for Jan. 6 occasions and introduced an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol with him.
The federal government alleges in courtroom papers that on Jan. 6, Reffitt performed a “vital and harmful function” by main a gaggle of rioters up the steps of the Capitol to problem police guarding the advanced. Reffitt solely retreated, prosecutors say, after being hit with pepper spray.
Movies from the scene that day present a person authorities have recognized as Reffitt on the steps of the Capitol utilizing water to flush his eyes. He is seen sporting a helmet with a GoPro-style digicam connected and a blue coat over a black tactical-style vest.
Division of Justice
The Justice Division says that when Reffitt returned to Texas after Jan. 6, he warned his spouse, son and daughter that “they might be traitors” in the event that they reported him to the authorities.
“Traitors will get shot,” he allegedly instructed them.
FBI brokers interviewed Reffitt’s spouse, son and daughter. The federal government has stated it expects to name each of Reffitt’s kids to testify. It additionally plans to name U.S. Capitol Cops who engaged with Reffitt on the steps of the Capitol, in addition to FBI brokers and Secret Service brokers.
Reffitt was arrested in January 2021 and has remained in authorities custody since then.
He faces 4 fees immediately associated to the occasions of Jan. 6: obstructing an official continuing; unlawfully being on Capitol grounds with a firearm; transporting firearms throughout a civil dysfunction; and interfering with regulation enforcement throughout a civil dysfunction.
He is additionally charged with obstruction of justice associated to the threats he allegedly made towards his household after returning dwelling.