“It’ll really be interesting to see how strong a case the government has and whether or not they’re relying on evidence that, when pushed and tested, stands up. It’s going to have a huge impact going forward,” said Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor.
The first trial for one of the hundreds of Capitol riot prosecutions starts this week, with jury selection scheduled to begin on Monday for the case against Guy Wesley Reffitt. The Texas man is charged with bringing a gun onto Capitol grounds, interfering with police officers guarding the building, and threatening his teenage children if they reported him to authorities.
Reffitt’s trial could be a bellwether for many other Capitol riot cases. A conviction would give prosecutors more leverage in plea talks with rioters facing the most serious charges. An acquittal may lead others to wait for their own day in court.
Reffitt “truly is the canary in the coal mine,” said Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor who served as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas from October 2020 to February 2021.
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