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Jan. 6 rioter Guy Reffitt was sentenced to more than seven years in prison on Monday after being convicted by a D.C. jury of five felonies in March. Thus far, it’s the longest sentence handed down by a federal judge in relation to the Capitol insurrection by two years.
Reffitt recruited for a right-wing militia known as the Three Percenters, and on Jan. 6, 2021, he brought firearms to the Capitol riots and threatened Nancy Pelosi; he never entered the Capitol building. His felony charges include transporting and carrying a firearm on Capitol grounds, interfering with Capitol Police and obstructing an official proceeding.
Per CNN, Reffitt’s sentencing from District Judge Dabney Friedrich went as follows: “Mr. Reffitt’s reluctance to admit early that his behavior is illegal is concerning. And I want to be very clear… under no legitimate definition of the term ‘patriot’ [does] Mr. Reffitt’s behavior on and around Jan. 6 fit the term. It is the antithesis of the word.”
Speaking to the media on the steps of the courthouse after Reffitt’s sentencing, wife and mother Nicole Reffitt angrily disagreed with the verdict and claimed that her husband was indeed a patriot.
“No matter if you are a liberal, if you are an independent, or a Republican, this is not OK,” she said. “It’s political persecution. We are patriots, Ashli Babbitt was a patriot, my husband is a patriot, Rosanne Boyland was a patriot. And all I can say is that y’all can go to hell and I’m going back to Texas.”
Guy Reffitt’s children also spoke out in the aftermath of the 87-month sentencing. From the courthouse steps, daughter Sarah Reffitt said that her father has been marked as a “horrible person,” and drew a line to former President Donald Trump’s ongoing Department of Justice investigation regarding the riots.
“To mark my dad as this horrible person and then having him prosecuted like this when somebody is maybe even able to get elected again doesn’t seem right.”
Her sister, Peyton Reffitt, worded it more directly: “Trump deserves life in prison if my father is in prison for this long.”
“When she said that, I was flabbergasted,” Guy’s son and Peyton’s brother Jackson Reffitt told CNN’s “New Day.” “Not only was I so impressed with her, but she was so right. I mean, my dad was used as a puppet, as thousands of families have been. And whether you deny or agree with that, it’s just facts at this point. It is disgusting to see that someone with money and social power can just get away with manipulating thousands of people just for whatever reason and have no outcome.”
Jackson Reffitt memorably warned the FBI about his father’s activity and behavior before and after the Jan. 6 riots. Speaking with “New Day,” he echoed his family’s frustration with the sentencing while expressing he didn’t have regret for turning his father in. “To say I’m surprised [by the sentencing] would be a lie. Everything my dad did, he’s his own person, and his action has consequences. But I’m not happy at all.”
He added that his relationship with his family has intensified since the insurrection, and while they disagree on the root of the trial, he does agree that Trump is in part to blame for his father’s actions and his “deteriorating mental health.” He said that the former president should be held accountable.
“It’s been really hard over the past couple years, the really polarizing differences in how we view our father and the people who are involved in communities such as what my father was in,” Jackson said. “But I don’t view this as a political matter. This is more of what is morally correct and how to go about it, and what my father was manipulated into doing and what he was led to think was the best and only way to do it…. What my father did is far from politics. This is completely off-the-rails violence. Whether it had a political motive at this point doesn’t matter. It’s more about what he did and who he did it for.”