It didn’t go so well. The trial began last week and a jury returned a verdict on Tuesday morning, finding Reffitt guilty on all five charges stemming from his role in the insurrection.
The verdict was not surprising. The prosecution was sitting on a mound of evidence against Reffitt, who attempted to break into the Capitol with a gun and zip ties but never actually made it into the building.
Reffitt recorded videos before the riot in which he lays out his plans. “I’m taking the Capitol with everyone else,” he says in one of them. “I think we have the numbers to make it happen.”
Reffitt also bragged to a group of Three Percenters, a far-right militia to which he belongs, in a post-riot Zoom call that he fired up the crowd as it stormed the Capitol. Additional video shows Reffitt using a megaphone to rally other rioters up the steps of the Capitol.
The trial even featured testimony from Reffitt’s teenage son, Jackson, who tipped off federal authorities ahead of Jan. 6 about his father’s plans. Jackson, 19, said that he and his father were close before the 2016 election, but that his father “snowballed into a far-right extremist” after Trump took office. Jackson was so concerned that he recorded his father’s conversations about the riot after he returned to Texas, and testified that his father admitted to taking a firearm onto federal property.
Reffitt was charged with — and found guilty of — witness tampering for threatening his son and daughter after he returned to Texas from Washington, D.C. He was also found guilty of obstructing an official government proceeding, interfering with police during a riot, illegally transporting a firearm, and armed trespassing for carrying a Smith & Wesson handgun onto the restricted Capitol grounds.
“On Jan. 6th, 2021, Guy Reffitt challenged the police at the head of a vigilante mob determined to break into the United States Capitol,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Risa Berkower said during closing argument on Monday. “He did this because he wanted to take out Congress, and an angry, energized crowd gave him his best shot.”
Reffitt is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8. Politico notes that he faces 20 years on the obstruction counts alone.