As a member of white nationalist group, the Three Percenters, Guy Reffitt is the first person from January 6 that the defense wanted charged with terrorism. This is one scary character. When his son threatened to turn him in to the FBI, Reffitt threatened to shoot him. And indeed, he carried a loaded pistol to the insurrection despite guns being illegal in Washington, D.C.
He was sentenced on Monday. The prosecutors asked the Court for a “15-year-prison term,” according to The Washington Post. Reffitt was a recruiter for the Three Percenters as its size continued to swell for the January 6 attack. But the judge said it was “unwarranted,” because no others had received that sentence. She was working to make certain this case made it through the appellate court on appeal.
That sentence was significantly higher than any other person was handed for the attack on America’s Capitol. Typically, they received between nine- and 11-year sentences. The “stiff punishment is warranted,” the prosecutors had argued. They used “enhanced terrorism” for the first time, NBC News reported. Reffitt’s attorneys rejected any plea deals.
He was convicted last March of five felony offenses. They included attempting to obstruct Congress’ business as it certified the 2020 presidential election. He was also charged with “interfering with police and carrying a firearm to a riot, and threatening his teenage son, who turned him in to the FBI.”
His teenage daughter and son knew what was going on and contacted the FBI prior to January 6, but none of them contacted him until after the attack:
‘[I]f you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and traitors get shot.’
Reffitt made a video of himself at Donald Trump’s rally at the Ellipse. In it, he claimed:
‘[H]e was ready to drag lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy A. Pelosi (D-Ca), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “out kicking and screaming [with] her [Pelosi’s] head hitting every step on the way down.”’
The jury that convicted him agreed that he left his home in Wylie, Texas and went to Washington with an AR-style rifle. He also carried a semiautomatic .40-caliber handgun. He often said that he was going with plastic handcuffs for some of the legislators and dragging them from the Capitol building.
After going home, he attempted to silence his kids so that they would not call the FBI. He had worked as an oil rig manager. The defense wanted a “below guidelines two years” sentence. His attorney F. Clinton Broden pointed to differences in the sentences of other members of the mob received, his lack of criminal history, and no violent acts.
Reffitt wrote a letter to the judge. In it, he wrote about a series of personal traumas beginning in 2020. He also included his mental health and medical records. It was a plea for leniency, not on his behalf, but for his family, the Washington Post continued:
‘My regrets for what has happened is insurmountable. There’s not a day go by that I don’t regret how much this has affected [my wife and children]. Yes, what is happening to my family is all my fault, I would like to fix it, please. … I simply ask for a chance to prove myself again.’
His attorneys claimed that he was “financially and emotionally devastated after a downturn in the oil and gas industry. He lost his job in November 2019.”6Trump Loving
‘It makes a mockery of the criminal justice system, the Sixth Amendment right to trial, and the victims assaulted by [others] to argue that Mr. Reffitt should be given a sentence greater than (let alone three times greater than) a defendant who assaulted police officers on at least two separate occasions, spent three hours on the Capitol grounds and who has a past history of violence.’
Reffitt was central to the attack on our Capitol Building. He manned a “choke point at one of the stairways” leading into the building. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Nestler and Risa Berkower explained that the man’s case fit the statutory definition of terrorist violence. If the judge had accepted it, it would have justified a longer sentence.
The nation’s prosecutors wrote:
‘Reffitt sought not just to stop Congress, but also to physically attack, remove, and replace the legislators who were serving in Congress. [His behavior was] a quintessential example of an intent to both influence and retaliate against government conduct through intimidation or coercion.’
His daughter was also aware of their father’s declining mental health. She wrote:
‘[H]is mental health was declining” over that period. [He fell] down the rabbit hole of political news and online banter. [Trump was] constantly feeding polarizing racial thought.’
‘I could really see how my father[’]s ego and personality fell to his knees when President Trump spoke, you could tell he listened to Trump’s words as if he was really truly speaking to him.’
Nine of his relatives and friend wrote letters of support on his behalf, according to Broden:
‘[They] describe a depressed man who believed he was unable to adequately provide for his family (his life’s mission), and a man who felt cast aside and marginalized.’
Guy Reffitt recorded this Zoom meeting in which he confessed to his actions at the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/dp7bkR5I8G
— Popitics (@Popitics1) August 1, 2022
Now that the judge has dismissed the terrorist charge, Reffitt will get seven to nine years in prison.
Featured image was a screenshot via YouTube.
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