A Texas man who was found guilty of all charges in the first criminal trial of a participant in the January 6, 2021 chaos at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced to seven years behind bars on Monday and, according to one of his daughters, former President Donald J. Trump deserves worse.
Federal District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Guy Wesley Reffitt to be sent to prison for 87 months, the longest sentence yet for an attendee at a protest that went badly off the rails. Reffitt is a former member of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia group who traveled to D.C. clearly looking for trouble.
Reffitt who was reportedly in possession of a gun on the day of the unrest and was convicted by a jury of five counts in March was, however, spared a much longer sentence when Friedrich declined a Justice Department request for a terrorism sentencing enhancement. In addition to his prison time, his punishment also included $2,000 in restitution, three years of probation, and to undergo mandatory mental health treatment.
Following his sentencing, two women who were identified as Reffitt’s daughters had strong words for Trump.
“I think it really paints a bigger picture, 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,” one woman said to reporters.
“Trump deserves life in prison if my father’s in prison for this long,” the second woman said. “He is the one — Edward Bernays, Aldous Huxley, that’s where I get my beliefs from, and my parents raised us to be free thinkers and to have our own thought. They did not raise us to one point of view.”
“We really didn’t expect anything more from a two-tiered justice system here in the D.C. area,” Reffitt’s wife Nicole told reporters. “There’s not gonna be a 1/6er that will not be persecuted for their political ideology.”
During his time in court on Monday, Reffitt called himself “a f**king idiot” who was “not thinking clearly” when he led a group to the Capitol. “I clearly f**ked up,” he said according to NBC News.
Reffitt added, “I did want to definitely make an apology, multiple apologies really, and accept my responsibility because I do hate what I did,” also telling the judge that he no longer wanted to be associated with militia groups, “or any stupid s**t like that.”
“Under no legitimate definition of the term patriot does Mr. Reffitt’s behavior on and around January 6 fit the term,” Judge Friedrich, who is a Trump appointee, said.
Videos of Reffitt’s own words were used by the prosecution against him, including one where he suggested that he would drag Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi out of the building.
“I don’t care if Pelosi’s head’s hitting every step while I drag her by her ankles, she’s coming out,” he boasted.
GUILTY VERDICT: The first criminal trial from the Jan. 6th assault on the Capitol ended in a guilty verdict. The landmark verdict gives the Justice Department newfound leverage over the nearly 500 Capitol riot defendants still facing possible trial. pic.twitter.com/RYpEH1B0Cc
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 8, 2022
“There are a lot of cases where defendants committed very violent assaults and even possessed weapons … that did not receive this departure,” Freidrich said of the decision to reject prosecutors’ request for the terrorism enhancement.
“We do believe that what he was doing that day was terrorism, we do believe he is a domestic terrorist,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler.
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