On the Eve of the Show Trials

Guy Reffitt has been in jail since he was arrested by the FBI nearly 14 months ago.

Reffitt, like dozens of Americans who protested the unlawful election of Joe Biden, isn’t in jail because he was convicted of a crime. Neither is Reffitt in jail because he has a criminal record—he does not—or a history of threatening his Bonham, Texas neighbors or community.

Instead, Reffitt has languished behind bars for more than a year because Joe Biden’s Justice Department asked a federal judge to keep him detained awaiting trial for his participation in the Capitol protest on January 6, 2021. Since then, more than 100 Americans, including several accused of no violent crimes, have been incarcerated under pre-trial detention orders sought by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Constitutional rights such as the presumption of innocence, due process, the right to a speedy trial, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment have been stripped from January 6 defendants based on the Biden regime’s false premise that they are all “domestic terrorists” and “insurrectionists.” (None of the January 6 defendants has been charged with terrorism or insurrection.)

Now that the first trials are finally getting underway, the public can assess whether the government prosecutors and federal judges who created America’s first class of political prisoners were justified in doing so, or were shamefully complicit in Joe Biden’s vengeful prosecution of Donald Trump supporters.

Guy Reffitt is one of hundreds of protesters not charged with committing a violent crime on January 6. According to his initial indictment, Reffitt did not assault police officers—to the contrary, he was attacked by law enforcement with rubber bullets and mace—or vandalize any public property. In fact, he never even entered the Capitol building.

But based on the government’s mostly hearsay evidence, a D.C. federal magistrate last year denied Reffitt’s release—and it had little to do with his alleged criminal behavior on January 6. 

“[The] gravity of the offense is not captured by the offenses because it was an attack upon the democracy and the lawful administration of that democracy as there was a transition of power,” Judge Zia Faruqui said during an April detention hearing. “My concern is that he still harbors the belief even after the election results were certified, the Electoral College was processed, that he continued to harbor the belief, the false belief that something untoward was happening with the democratic process.”

Judge Dabny Friedrich, a judge appointed to the D.C. District Court by President Trump in 2017, upheld Faruqui’s ruling last May; Reffitt has remained in a fetid D.C. jail specifically set aside for January 6 defendants ever since.

In January, amid new COVID-related lockdowns that forced Reffitt and at least 35 other January 6 defendants to remain in their D.C. cells for 22 hours a day, his defense lawyer once again asked Friedrich to release his client under strict supervision, particularly since the court continued to delay trial dates and close the courthouse needed for jury trials. To keep Reffitt incarcerated, his lawyer argued, violated his Eighth Amendment rights.

Friedrich, unmoved, denied Reffitt’s release again.

She now will preside over the first major trial of a January 6 defendant—and the government’s case that sounded compelling enough to convince her to keep an innocent man behind bars for more than a year is not as ironclad as she thought. Jury selection begins Monday in hyper-partisan Washington, D.C.; Friedrich also denied a motion to move the trial out of the town that voted nearly 94 percent for Joe Biden, the largest margin of victory for Biden in any major city.

Reffitt’s case, to be sure, is complicated; his son, Jackson, who disagrees with his father’s politics, taped family conversations about what Reffitt did at the Capitol on January 6 and gave those recordings to the FBI. (Jackson Reffitt, pictured here, has raised more than $150,000 since his father’s arrest.) Jackson later claimed Reffitt threatened him and his younger sister if they turned him into the authorities.

Adding to Reffitt’s legal woes, with the FBI under pressure to arrest someone for possessing a firearm on January 6, the Justice Department indicted Reffitt in June with bringing a “deadly and dangerous weapon and firearm” to the restricted grounds of the Capitol that day.

But a number of Reffitt’s charges appear to be on shaky legal ground, prompting scrutiny from the court. For more than a year, the Justice Department misled a grand jury, defense attorneys, and federal judges as to the whereabouts of Kamala Harris on January 6, falsely claiming she was inside the building during the protest.

Harris’ location as a Secret Service protectee is the basis for thousands of charges filed under section 1752, which rendered the Capitol and surrounding property a “restricted” area; Reffitt faces three of those charges. 

Prosecutors recently admitted that Harris was not in the building but rather at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee when an alleged pipe bomb was discovered. The Justice Department’s lie about her actual location, however, has not been corrected in numerous indictments including Reffitt’s; Friedrich asked the government to explain why.

In a response filed last week, prosecutors asked the court “to amend the charging language from ‘where the Vice President and Vice President-elect were temporarily visiting’ to ‘where the Vice President was temporarily visiting.’”

But Vice President Mike Pence’s wherabouts after the first breach of the building around 2:15 p.m. that day also is unclear—and the Justice Department in the case of Reffitt and others is asking the court to limit cross-examination of Secret Service agents to verify that Pence remained in the Capitol building, as prosecutors also have alleged in hundreds of indictments. “Broader cross-examination of Secret Service witnesses could compromise national security without adding any appreciable benefit to the determination of the truth,” prosecutors have argued in pre-trial motions.

Judge Friedrich granted the Justice Department’s request to limit questioning of Secret Service agents in Reffitt’s case, but her colleague, Judge Trevor McFadden, recently denied a similar motion in a separate case, advising the government that if it “wishes to continue to pursue this misdemeanor charge, it must be prepared to fully prove it.” His ruling could prove pivotal in the hundreds of trials moving forward.

Prosecutors also continue to tweak language related to obstruction of an official proceeding charge, the most-often used felony count against more than 200 January 6 defendants. While a few judges early on expressed skepticism about the constitutionality of the offense against political protesters, judges have denied defense motions to drop the charge altogether.

After Friedrich asked for jury instructions related to the charge, which requires proof the defendant acted “corruptly” to interfere in the proceeding, the Justice Department watered down its definition. Rather than ask the jury to find the defendant acted with “unlawful purpose,” the government changed that burden to “improper purpose,” a wide net that could apply to all political activity in the future, regardless of party affiliation.

Since January 6, the Biden regime, in coordination with a colluding media, has controlled the narrative about that day. Jury trials, however, will expose the weak evidentiary case against most defendants as well as reveal any number of lies the public has been led to believe.

And judges who allowed false narratives and bogus evidence to justify holding political prisoners while denying their Constitutional rights in service to Democrats’ lust for revenge should face a harsh reckoning.

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