The teenage son of Guy Reffitt took the witness stand to emotionally testify against his father during the first criminal trial of participants in the deadly U.S. Capitol riots of Jan. 6, 2021.
Jackson Reffitt, 19, said that he had searched online for the FBI tip site to report his father’s involvement in the violence. He also stated that he had confronted him after returning from Washington, D.C.
“He said, ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and traitors get shot’”Jackson Reffitt addressed the jury, his father watching in the courtroom.
The elder Reffitt, 41, is the first defendant of more 700 to face trial in connection with the assault on the Capitol. Prosecutors presented evidence they said showed the father drove to Washington with a friend and fellow member of a Texas militia armed with zip ties and weapons, to lead a pro-Donald Trump assault on police outside the building.
It “felt gross” to be searching for the FBI site “to report my father,”Jackson said the following to the court: His father is accused of transporting firearms from Texas to Washington, D.C., and of bringing a firearm to the Capitol. The father also faces an obstruction charge for allegedly threatening Jackson and his younger sister, Peyton, to keep quiet after the Capitol siege.
Prosecutors also presented video footage they said Reffitt captured using a 360-degree camera attached to his helmet on Jan. 6.
“We’re taking the Capitol before the day is over,”Reffitt can be heard saying these words in the video. “Ripping them out by their hair — every f***ing one of them.”
Reffit referred to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic House Speaker. “Pelosi’s coming out on her f***ing ears, dragging that b***h out hard core.”
Jackson Reffitt also said his father belonged to the Texas Three Percenters, a state militia group linked to the gun-rights movement. His father frequently wore his .40-caliber pistol on his hip as he went about his daily life, his son said.
Guy Reffitt’s defense attorney, William Welch, told jurors in opening statement that his client “uses a lot of hyperbole”It is easy to exaggerate.
Jackson Reffitt claimed that he had met with FBI agents after his father returned to Washington. He made threats about “traitors,” His father was arrested within a week.
On Friday, a former member of the Texas Three Percenters, Rocky Hardie, testified he and Reffitt traveled to Washington in Reffitt’s Chevy Equinox, which was loaded with zip ties, rifles, handguns and ammunition.
Hardie claimed that Hardie and Hardie were aware of strict gun laws within the District of Columbia, but they decided to take the risk.
“I think we used the phrase ‘It’s better to be tried by a jury of twelve than carried by six,’” Hardie testified.
Hardie said he still believed the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump, and testified he was proud to attend the events of Jan. 6.
“I felt like it was historically significant. I actually showed up,” Hardie said. “I wasn’t ashamed.”
Hardie testified as part of an agreement with prosecutors that bans them from using his testimony about Reffitt to build a case against Hardie. The agreement does not prevent Hardie from being charged with the government over his involvement in Reffitt’s Jan. 6 investigation.
“You still haven’t been charged with a crime, correct?” Welch, Reffitt’s defense attorney, asked Hardie. Welch also noted Hardie had traveled for business to Mexico and Florida and had an upcoming trip planned for Thailand.
Hardie acknowledged that it was a benefit to him to testify in order to avoid being arrested.
“Somebody in the government is going to decide, did I lie or did I not lie,”Hardie stated on the stand.