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Authorities Reveals Trove of Proof in First Jan. 6 Trial

Prosecutors have offered a revealing glimpse of their technique for the primary trial stemming from the assault on the Capitol, unveiling a list of the in depth proof they intend to introduce, together with surveillance movies, police communications, textual content messages, geolocation information and testimony from a Secret Service agent and the defendant’s personal youngsters.

The defendant within the trial, set to start on Feb. 28, is Man Wesley Reffitt, an oil trade employee who prosecutors say was a member of the Texas Three Percenters, a far-right group linked to the gun rights motion. Mr. Reffitt stands accused of storming the Capitol with a pistol at his waist. The costs in opposition to him embrace interfering with regulation enforcement officers throughout a civil dysfunction and obstructing Congress’s obligation to certify the outcomes of the 2020 election.

The trial — the earliest of a number of associated to the occasions of Jan. 6, 2021, scheduled this yr — will mark a significant turning level within the Justice Division’s huge investigation of the Capitol assault. About 200 folks have pleaded responsible thus far to expenses linked to the violent assault that disrupted the peaceable switch of energy. Of these, almost 90 have already been sentenced.

The Reffitt trial, which is able to happen in Federal District Courtroom in Washington, is anticipated to be the primary time that prosecutors will publicly provide proof of the allegations they’ve made in opposition to scores of different comparable defendants. Beneath what is certain to be huge scrutiny, the prosecutors should display that regulation enforcement officers have been “adversely affected” by the riot and that Mr. Reffitt was a part of a pro-Trump mob that illegally stopped the work of Congress.

To that finish, the prosecutors have amassed an expansive array of witnesses and proof, in accordance with the list they filed Monday evening. Whereas a lot of the knowledge they plan to introduce had been revealed in earlier court docket papers and hearings, a few of it was new, suggesting that they might have equally undisclosed proof ready within the wings for future trials.

Mr. Reffitt’s lawyer, William L. Welch III, didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the federal government’s proof, however his shopper has brazenly pushed again in opposition to accusations that he took half in something untoward on the Capitol on Jan. 6. In a letter obtained by ProPublica last spring, Mr. Reffitt wrote of the assault, “There was no revolt, no conspiracy, no sinister plan and no motive to suppose in any other case.”

Whereas Mr. Reffitt’s trial is definite to draw consideration for being the primary, different bigger and extra difficult trials are tentatively scheduled for later within the yr. Four leaders of the far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys are set to go on trial in Washington in Could. And in July, prosecutors plan to try 11 members of the Oath Keepers militia — together with its chief Stewart Rhodes — on expenses of seditious conspiracy.

The Reffitt trial is more likely to start with an summary of the tumult on Jan. 6 provided by an officer who labored that day on the U.S. Capitol Police’s command middle, overseeing a video surveillance system, and radio and cellphone communications, prosecutors mentioned. The officer will “clarify the development of the riot” via a compilation of surveillance movies from each inside and outdoors the constructing and can present the jury a separate video of former Vice President Mike Pence’s motorcade leaving the east plaza of the Capitol at 1:57 p.m.

Three different Capitol officers are scheduled to testify about their direct interactions with Mr. Reffitt and others members of the mob, prosecutors mentioned. These officers are anticipated to explain their experiences attempting to manage the gang by firing pepper balls and different projectiles and to offer accounts of failing to subdue Mr. Reffitt and his fellow rioters with chemical spray.

A lot of the federal government’s proof got here from search warrants executed on Mr. Reffitt’s property. Prosecutors say, as an example, that they’ve geolocation information from an app on Mr. Reffitt’s iPhone that pinpoints his exact actions earlier than, throughout and after the assault. In addition they say they’ve extracted from the cellphone a number of threads of messages he despatched and obtained by textual content and through the chatting app Telegram.

Prosecutors are in possession of a 31-minute video that Mr. Reffitt apparently took throughout the riot with a panoramic digital camera. In addition they say they’ve one other video, almost two hours in size, entitled “Texas State Assembly — Zoom,” which can be of a web based occasion hosted by the Texas Three Percenters that Mr. Reffitt attended.

Among the many different witnesses set to testify on the trial are a Secret Service agent and a former counsel to the Secretary of the Senate.

The agent intends to explain “emergency actions” taken on Jan. 6 to guard Mr. Pence and to point out the jury a video of the previous vp and others hurrying down a staircase after rioters breached the constructing. The Senate aide will clarify the certification of the Electoral School vote that was disrupted by the riot, a central a part of the prosecution’s case that Mr. Reffitt and others obstructed the work of Congress.

Prosecutors additionally revealed the existence of a brand new witness: a member of the Texas Three Percenters who traveled with Mr. Reffitt to Washington. The witness, who is thought for now solely as R.H., was granted immunity in opposition to prosecution and can testify concerning the preparations the 2 made for his or her journey, together with the firearms and tactical gear that Mr. Reffitt introduced with him, prosecutors say.

Maybe probably the most emotional witnesses to testify on the trial will probably be Mr. Reffitt’s teenage son and daughter.

Prosecutors say the son, who was 18 on the time of assault, will inform the jury that he and his sister, then 16, spoke with their father when he returned from Washington after the riot and that Mr. Reffitt threatened to shoot them in the event that they went to the F.B.I. about him. In a earlier court docket listening to, the daughter testified that Mr. Reffitt threatened to place a bullet in her cellphone if she posted about him on social media.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/08/us/trial-jan-6-guy-wesley-reffitt.html Authorities Reveals Trove of Proof in First Jan. 6 Trial

Fry Electronics Team

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