Guy Reffitt, the first man to stand trial for his involvement in the Capitol protest on January 6, 2021, has been found guilty on all counts.
A jury in the District of Columbia deliberated for roughly three hours before finding Reffitt guilty on five charges—including one controversial count of obstruction of an official proceeding, a charge dismissed by a federal judge yesterday in a separate January 6 case—raising concerns that January 6 defendants will not find an impartial jury in a city that voted nearly 94 percent for Joe Biden. He was represented by a court-appointed attorney.
Reffitt did not enter the Capitol building on January 6; five months after his initial indictment, the Justice Department indicted Reffitt for bringing a firearm to the grounds of the Capitol based on photographs obtained by the government. Reffitt’s son, Jackson, who opposes his father’s political views, recorded conversations between the family after January 6 and turned the recordings over to the FBI; Jackson testified for the prosecution at trial.
A juror afterwards told a CBS News reporter that the case was “simple” and there was “not a dissenting voice in the jury room.”
Reffitt has been incarcerated since his arrest in January 2021, denied release twice by U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee. Friedrich also denied Reffitt’s motion for change of venue. Two surveys conducted by defense teams earlier this year revealed extreme bias in the prospective jury pool; one poll showed that 74 percent of D.C. residents believe anyone who participated in the events of January 6 should be convicted of “insurrection” and 64 percent believe even nonviolent protesters should be held criminally responsible for what happened that day.
Reffitt faces up to 20 years in prison for each obstruction count. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8, 2022.