The House select committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riot adjourned its televised hearings last month with plans to continue them this fall as more and more people come forward to testify what happened that day, especially as it regards possible criminal liability of former President Donald Trump and his closest allies and members of his administration. In the meantime, Washington D.C. courts continue to try the hundreds of Capitol rioters. One just got a big prison sentence. All of this affirms, rather unfortunately I might add, the danger to our democracy that I alleged throughout Trump’s presidency on my blog which is now a book entitled Bible Predicts Trump Fall.
Texas oil worker and family man Guy Reffitt was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison, the longest sentence so far, for his involvement in the January 6th Capitol riot. Reffitt is from Wylie, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He is also a 49-year old recruiter for the right-wing militia group Three Percenters.
Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich said Guy Reffitt’s refusal to admit his behavior that day was illegal got him a harsher sentence even though he apologized for carrying a handgun to the nation’s capitol that day. Actually, Reffitt didn’t even storm the Capitol, but used a megaphone from nearby in calling others to do so. Yet he was convicted by a DC jury of committing five felonies. He made multiple threats that day, which he recorded, against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others, including Minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.
Judge Friedrich denounced Reffitt for calling himself a “patriot,” saying it was the Capitol Police who defended lawmakers that day with their lives who were the true patriots. He said, “The officers at the Capitol are the patriots, as well as those who fought and even died to protect our democracy, our rule of law … those in the mob are not. Not only are they not patriots, they’re a direct threat to our democracy and will be punished as such.” Reffitt did admit to the judge that he was an “idiot.”
Almost 900 rioters have been arrested, and hundreds have been charged with misdemeanors or felonies. Hundreds have been convicted are awaiting sentencing. Several have already been sentenced to multiple months, and some to multiple years, in prison. Many of them testified in court that they stormed the Capitol because President Trump called on them to do so. Courts-of-law generally don’t rule that offenders avoid serving time in prison because someone else influenced them to commit crime.
Two weeks before the Capitol riot, Guy Reffitt’s eighteen year old son, Jackson, contacted the FBI saying his father had told him he was going to do “something big” against the federal government in Washington D.C. Jackson later testified that he didn’t know what his father was going to do. When Guy returned home two days after the Capitol riot, he told his family what he had done. He threatened his son, Jackson, saying, “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor. And you know what happens to traitors. Traitors get shot.”
Jackson also testified against his father in the trial. He said, “I put my emotions behind me to do what I thought was right.” He explained that his father “slowly lost himself over the last five years.”
Reffitt’s wife and two daughters, in their late teens, attended their father’s trial. When the sentence was read and the court adjourned, the two daughters spoke to the media outside the courtroom. It was disheartening to hear it.
The younger Sarah Reffitt spoke first, saying, “To mark my dad as this horrible person, and then having him prosecuted like this, when somebody is maybe even able to get elected again? Doesn’t seem right to me.”
Peyton Reffitt then said, “President Trump deceived my father and many other normal citizens with families to believe that this past election was fraudulent.” During the trial, she had testified, “My father’s name wasn’t on all the flags that were there that day, that everyone was carrying that day. He is not the leader. It was another man’s name.”