US Capitol riot panel says Trump may have engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’


Former U.S. President Donald Trump factors out to supporters as he leaves the stage after talking throughout the Conservative Political Motion Convention in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 26. The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday mentioned former President Donald Trump could have engaged in prison conduct in his bid to overturn his election defeat. (Marco Bello, Reuters)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

WASHINGTON — The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday mentioned former President Donald Trump could have engaged in prison conduct in his bid to overturn his election defeat.

“(E)vidence and data obtainable to the Committee establishes a good-faith perception that Mr. Trump and others could have engaged in prison and/or fraudulent acts,” the committee mentioned in a courtroom submitting.

“The Choose Committee additionally has a good-faith foundation for concluding that the President and members of his Marketing campaign engaged in a prison conspiracy to defraud the US,” the submitting mentioned.

The courtroom doc was filed in federal courtroom in Los Angeles as a part of the U.S. Home of Consultant Choose Committee’s dispute with John Eastman, a lawyer who suggested Trump on a plan to invalidate election ends in key battleground states.

Eastman sued the committee in December, searching for to dam a congressional subpoena requesting that he flip over 1000’s of emails.

The Choose Committee’s members have mentioned they may contemplate passing alongside proof of prison conduct by Trump to the U.S. Justice Division. Such a transfer, referred to as a prison referral, can be largely symbolic however would improve political stress on Lawyer Common Merrick Garland to cost the previous president.

Representatives of Eastman and Trump didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The committee’s leaders mentioned in a press release that “Eastman’s emails could present that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to hinder the counting of electoral school ballots and a conspiracy to impede the switch of energy.”

Lawyer regulators in California mentioned Tuesday they’ve been investigating Eastman and whether or not he acted unethically in his work for Trump. The investigation might result in disciplinary motion towards Eastman, reminiscent of suspension of his legislation license.

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Capitol riots: Guy Reffitt accused of being ‘tip of spear’ in 6 January mob


On 6 January, 2021, a mob of pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers gathered to certify Joe Biden’s presidential election win. Prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler described it in opening remarks for Mr Reffitt’s trial as “worst assault on the Capitol for the reason that Battle of 1812”, a date when British forces set fireplace to the White Home.

First US Capitol rioter on trial ‘lit the match’, prosecutor says | Courts News


Man Wesley Reffitt is the primary of tons of charged with becoming a member of the January 6 Capitol rebel to face trial.

The primary particular person to be tried for final 12 months’s lethal assault on the US Capitol “lit the match that began the fireplace”, a United States prosecutor has alleged, as opening statements started on Wednesday within the trial of Texas militia group member Man Wesley Reffitt.

Reffitt was armed with a holstered handgun and zip-tie handcuffs, and was sporting physique armour and a helmet adorned with a video digicam, when he and others charged at cops on the west aspect of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, prosecutors have mentioned.

“The defendant was the tip of this mob’s spear,” federal prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler advised jurors in his opening assertion, saying Reffitt led different rioters up the Capitol’s stairs to “overwhelm” police and storm the constructing.

“Within the defendant’s personal phrases, he lit the match that began the fireplace,” Nestler mentioned.

Former President Donald Trump
The Capitol riot passed off shortly after ex-President Donald Trump delivered an incendiary speech in Washington, DC, falsely claiming the election was stolen from him [File: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo]

Reffitt was one of many 1000’s of people that stormed the US Capitol after former US President Donald Trump delivered a fiery speech wherein he falsely claimed the presidential election had been stolen from him resulting from widespread fraud.

Trump was later impeached for “incitement of rebel” in relation to the riot, which passed off as Congress was assembly to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory.

4 individuals concerned within the incident died on the day of the violence; one was fatally shot by police and the opposite three died of pure causes. A Capitol police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the next day, whereas 4 cops who took half within the defence of the Capitol later died by suicide.

Greater than 100 cops additionally have been injured within the riot.

Reffitt, who has pleaded responsible to the fees in opposition to him, is the primary particular person to face trial for becoming a member of the assault on the Capitol, as prime US officers have pledged to carry everybody who participated within the riot accountable.

Some 200 defendants have already pleaded responsible to becoming a member of the mob, which despatched lawmakers working for his or her lives. They face prices starting from illegal picketing to seditious conspiracy, with which 11 individuals affiliated with the anti-government Oath Keepers militia have been charged in January.

On Wednesday, Reffitt’s defence lawyer advised jurors that the Division of Justice’s case in opposition to his consumer was primarily based on “plenty of hype” and a “rush to judgement” in opposition to a person who’s vulnerable to bragging, exaggerating and ranting.

“He makes use of plenty of hyperbole, and that upsets individuals,” mentioned William Welch. “This trial might be about truth versus hype.” Welch additionally mentioned there isn’t any proof that Reffitt broken property, used drive or bodily harmed anyone.

The storming of the US Capitol
Some 200 defendants have already pleaded responsible to becoming a member of the mob, which despatched lawmakers working for his or her lives [File: John Minchillo/AP Photo]

“He by no means tried to assault anybody. He didn’t assist anyone else commit an assault,” Welch mentioned throughout opening statements that have been considerably shorter than the prosecutor’s 30-minute presentation.

However Nestler, the US prosecutor, mentioned on Wednesday that Refitt advised a pal he needed to tug Democratic Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the constructing. “I simply need to see Pelosi’s head hitting each f*****g stair” of the constructing, he advised the pal, in keeping with Nestler.

Reffitt is a member of the “Texas Three Percenters” and bragged about his involvement within the riot to different members of the militia-style group, in keeping with prosecutors.

Prosecutors consider Reffitt took an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol with him when he drove to Washington, DC, with a fellow militia member. FBI brokers who searched Reffitt’s house after the riot discovered a handgun in a holster on a nightstand in his bed room.

Reffitt has pleaded not responsible to 5 prices, together with carrying a semi-automatic handgun that he introduced with him whereas on Capitol grounds. He additionally faces prices of obstruction for allegedly threatening his teenage kids with hurt in the event that they turned him in to the authorities.

Reffitt’s estranged son Jackson, now 19, turned him into the FBI. The son will testify in opposition to his father at trial, Nestler mentioned.

Ukrainian at Capitol rally urges Utahns not to be ‘detached’ from the dangers of the Russian invasion


Upwards of a thousand individuals gathered Monday on the Utah Capitol, the place, for the primary time within the state’s historical past, the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag flew alongside the U.S. and Utah flags.

The rally was a wanted present of assist for the embattled European nation, stated Ivan Bagmet, a Ukrainian man who was compelled to flee along with his household to the U.S. practically eight years in the past.

As a Ukrainian nationalist dwelling in Donetsk — one of many areas that Russian President Vladimir Putin not too long ago declared impartial as a pretext for invasion — Bagmet advised The Salt Lake Tribune that he confronted harsh persecution that culminated in an try on his life in 2014.

The subsequent day, his younger household of 4 fled to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, after which flew to Utah.

“[The invasion] isn’t just Ukraine’s downside, it’s everybody else’s downside as nicely,” he stated, referencing Putin’s ominous remarks about nuclear arms. “It’s not going to cease in Ukraine, and proper now it’s a menace to the entire world, together with [the] United States.”

All through the rally, Ukrainians within the crowd raised impassioned shouts of their native language, voicing assist for his or her countrymen who are actually combating for his or her lives half a world away. For them, even the Ukrainians dwelling in Utah, Russia’s invasion hits near residence.

Bagmet stated he has household and associates nonetheless dwelling in Donetsk and Kyiv, together with his mother and father and in-laws.

“As quickly because it began, principally, my brother known as me. It was like 5:38 a.m. within the morning, Ukrainian time,” he stated. “For me, it was, like, principally center of the day. … He simply wakened at 5:38 a.m. as a result of the constructing was shaking from explosions. And he simply known as me and stated, ‘Hey, it appears prefer it’s began.’”

What adopted had been days spent on the telephone, checking in on family members, ensuring that everybody was OK.

Thus far, Ukrainian forces have managed to stymie the Russian invasion.

“I do know that nations [are] normally born in tears and blood, and I consider that’s what’s happening with Ukrainian individuals proper now,” Bagmet stated. “As a result of Putin stated he [was] going to take over Ukraine inside 48 hours. As you recognize, it’s been 5 days … and Ukrainian individuals [are] combating again.”

Regardless of the satisfaction he has in his nation, and his fellow nationalists, Bagmet stated Ukraine alone won’t be able to win this conflict. Russia is simply too skilled and is a far higher army energy than its neighbor.

So Ukraine is counting on different international locations to supply help.

“As soon as, eight years in the past, I stay in a peaceable nation,” Bagmet stated, warning that the peaceable life loved by many People is fragile. “So, please, don’t be indifferent. Please, attempt to assist for those who can.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Vlada Yaremenko, from Ukraine, joins lots of of protesters collect on the Utah Capitol for a rally in assist of Ukraine, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and some lawmakers spoke on the rally, held to point out solidarity with Ukrainians in Europe and in Utah after an identical occasion on the Capitol on Saturday.

Attendees held yellow flowers, waved flags, and joined in chants of “Ukraine!” and “Zelensky!” — referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who the audio system usually known as a “hero.”

Rep. Jordan Teuscher, D-South Jordan, stated Russia’s assault on Ukraine impacts not solely Ukrainians like his spouse and her household, but additionally Utahns.

“This assault in opposition to Ukraine isn’t just an assault in opposition to Ukraine, however an assault in opposition to democracy and an assault in opposition to each single one in every of us,” he stated.

The governor and lieutenant governor echoed that sentiment of their transient remarks.

“Our horror at what’s unfolding in Europe with our associates is heightened by the conclusion that freedom, democracy, justice and self-determination is below assault,” Henderson stated. “We stand with Ukraine not simply due to what’s occurring to its individuals … but additionally as a result of the invasion right into a sovereign nation highlights the fragility of all that we maintain expensive.”

The lieutenant governor additionally quoted Sen. Mitt Romney, referring to Putin as a “small, evil, feral-eyed man” who she stated, “deserves each little bit of scorn and condemnation for his evil actions.”

Romney appeared on CNN on Sunday and stated Republicans’ assist of the Russian president was “nearly treasonous.”

In his speech, Cox expressed love for the 1,500 Ukrainians dwelling within the state, however he additionally spoke to Utah’s Russian inhabitants, saying, “We don’t maintain you accountable for the acts of a madman.”

Echoing his weblog put up revealed on-line Monday, Cox urged Utahns to place apart division, although the U.S. is “flawed,” he stated.

“Our Ukrainian associates are reminding us what it means to be American,” Cox stated on the rally. “They want us. They want a united us. They want the very best of us. And we want them.”

Mayor Erin Mendenhall, who spoke below a sky she described as “nearly as blue because the stripe on the Ukrainian flag,” stated Russia’s assault on Ukraine was private for her.

Her household fled Russian-occupied Lithuania throughout World Warfare II, she stated, and so they had been by no means in a position to return. “Our democracy is simply as secure as our dedication to it,” she stated.

Mendenhall additionally known as on Utahns to ship assist to the Salt Lake Metropolis sister cities of Chernivtsi in Ukraine, and Izhevsk in Russia.

The rally was held on one other busy day on the Utah Legislature, however Republican Home Speaker Rep. Brad Wilson stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine warranted lawmakers hitting the “pause button.”

Simply hours earlier than the rally, the Utah Legislature unanimously handed a invoice denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urging the U.S. federal authorities to “restore peace in Europe.”

The rally closed with a prayer from Rabbi Samuel Spector of Congregation Kol Ami, in addition to a prayer in Ukrainian from a lady sporting a blue scarf who was recognized solely as Anna.

The rally’s host, entrepreneur Owen Fuller, stated that the Utah Capitol could be lit up in yellow and blue for Ukraine as soon as the sky darkened Monday night, as had been the governor’s mansion, the College of Utah’s block U. and lots of companies all through Salt Lake Metropolis and the state.

Cox stated that the one different time the Utah Capitol has been lit up was throughout the 2002 Winter Olympics.

‘Huge impact’: First January 6 US Capitol riot trial begins | Courts News


The primary trial for one of many a whole bunch of US Capitol riot defendants has begun, with jury choice beginning on Monday for the case in opposition to Man Wesley Reffitt.

The Texas man is charged with bringing a gun onto Capitol grounds, interfering with cops guarding the constructing, and threatening his teenage kids in the event that they reported him to authorities.

Reffitt’s trial might be a bellwether for a lot of different Capitol riot circumstances, authorized consultants have stated. A conviction would give prosecutors extra leverage in plea talks with rioters dealing with essentially the most severe prices. An acquittal might lead others to attend for their very own day in courtroom.

Reffitt “really is the canary within the coal mine,” stated Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor who served as US lawyer for the Western District of Texas from October 2020 to February 2021.

“It’ll actually be fascinating to see how robust a case the federal government has and whether or not or not they’re counting on proof that, when pushed and examined, stands up. It’s going to have a huge effect going ahead,” Sofer, now a associate at a legislation agency, advised The Related Press information company.

Greater than 750 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated to the riot, which Democrats usually describe as an rebellion that aimed to violently stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Greater than 200 of them have pleaded responsible, principally to misdemeanours carrying a most sentence of six months imprisonment. Greater than 100 riot defendants have been sentenced. And a minimum of 90 others have trial dates this 12 months.

Former President Donald Trump was impeached by the US Home of Representatives for “inciting” the riots.

Reffitt is a member of a militia-style group referred to as the “Texas Three Percenters”, in keeping with prosecutors. The Three Percenters militia motion refers back to the delusion that solely 3 % of Individuals fought within the Revolutionary Warfare in opposition to the British.

On January 6, 2021, Reffitt was armed with a handgun in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and sporting physique armour and a helmet geared up with a video digicam when he and others charged at cops on the west aspect of the Capitol, in keeping with prosecutors.

Prosecutors imagine Reffitt took a minimum of two firearms with him to Washington: an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol. When FBI brokers searched Reffitt’s dwelling in Wylie, Texas, they discovered a handgun in a holster on a nightstand within the defendant’s bed room. Prosecutors say photographs and video of Reffitt through the riot present a handgun holster on his proper hip, with what seems to be a silver object contained in the holster.

On the morning of January 6, Reffitt stated he deliberate to “do the recon after which come again for weapons sizzling” and despatched messages about assembly at a “rendezvous level,” in keeping with prosecutors.

“These messages, together with the weapons that Reffitt carried and the gear he wore, clarify that the defendant didn’t come to DC with the intention to interact in peaceable exercise,” prosecutors wrote.

The siege resulted within the deaths of 5 individuals, together with a police officer. The Division of Justice has stated greater than 235 rioters have been charged with assaulting or impeding legislation enforcement, injuring greater than 100 officers. Rioters brought on greater than $1m in injury to the Capitol.

Philadelphia-based defence lawyer Justin Danilewitz, who was a federal prosecutor in New Jersey from 2012 to 2017, stated a conviction in Reffitt’s case might result in a flurry of responsible pleas by different riot defendants.

“And that may profit defendants every now and then as a result of it’s higher than the choice if the choice is a conviction following a trial,” Danilewitz added.

An acquittal might encourage different defendants to “dig of their heels” and both push for a greater plea provide from prosecutors or gamble a trial of their very own, he stated.

Defence lawyer William Welch has stated there isn’t any proof that Reffitt broken property, used power or bodily harmed anyone. In a Could 2021 courtroom submitting, Welch stated not one of the movies or photographs exhibits a gun in Reffitt’s possession on the Capitol.

“In reality, neither of the cops interviewed by the federal government stated something a few firearm,” he wrote.

Reffitt has been jailed since his arrest in Texas lower than every week after the riot. He faces 5 counts: obstruction of an official continuing, being unlawfully current on Capitol grounds whereas armed with a firearm, transporting firearms throughout a civil dysfunction, interfering with legislation enforcement officers throughout a civil dysfunction, and obstruction of justice.

The obstructing justice cost stems from threats that he allegedly made in opposition to his son, then 18, and daughter, then 16, after returning dwelling from Washington. Reffett advised his kids to “select a aspect or die” and stated they might be traitors in the event that they reported him to legislation enforcement, prosecutors stated.

Why Ukraine’s flag is flying over the Utah Capitol in ‘solidarity’


The Ukrainian flag flies on the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. Ukraine’s resistance in opposition to the Russian invasion is “breathtaking and galvanizing,” Gov. Spencer Cox stated in a press release as he ordered the Ukrainian flag be flown over the state Capitol on Monday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Ukraine’s resistance in opposition to the Russian invasion is “breathtaking and galvanizing,” Gov. Spencer Cox stated in a press release as he ordered the Ukrainian flag be flown over the state Capitol on Monday.

Whereas it’s a “largely symbolic” transfer, “make no mistake, in occasions of struggle and evil, symbols completely matter,” Cox stated.

Cox started the assertion by telling the story of first woman Abby Cox’s grandfather, Duffy Palmer, who was shot via the chest throughout the Battle of Iwo Jima. Palmer survived, due to a fellow soldier “who disobeyed a direct order to convey him medical consideration.”

Trying again, Palmer wrote that he “cried like a child” when he noticed the American flag flying on Mount Suribachi — as captured within the iconic {photograph}.

“How I want each American may all the time have these emotions for the flag that I skilled that day,” Palmer wrote.

“His want is a poignant one,” Cox stated, including that he thinks Palmer would “discover the divided America of at present virtually unrecognizable.” He stated that the “biggest technology” was solid as “atypical women and men met the second” by sacrificing and standing as much as the “evils of struggle.”

Two women carrying a Ukrainian flag walk to the south steps of the Capitol in Salt Lake City to take part rally to support the Eastern European country on Monday. Gov. Spencer Cox ordered the Ukrainian flag be flown over the state Capitol on Monday.
Two girls carrying a Ukrainian flag stroll to the south steps of the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis to participate rally to assist the Japanese European nation on Monday. Gov. Spencer Cox ordered the Ukrainian flag be flown over the state Capitol on Monday. (Photograph: Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

Since Russia invaded Ukraine final week, Cox stated “we now have seen ladies and men being tapped on the shoulder and supplied the prospect to do a really particular factor. Happily, they’re assembly their second in ways in which have introduced tears to all of our eyes.”

“That is the stuff of legends,” he stated, pointing to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying “I want ammunition, not a trip,” and an expletive-filled rebuke of Russia from Ukrainian troopers defending an island within the Black Sea.

All are examples of patriotism, Cox stated, and a “humble energy … that overlooks a rustic’s flaws … and sees the nice value saving.”

He stated the unity and patriotism on show are harking back to “what America may be and has been at its best,” a thread that has been misplaced since Iwo Jima.

“We argue and combat about a lot silly stuff,” Cox stated. “Stuff that melts away after we see kids sobbing as their dads say goodbye. Stuff that does not matter after we see a younger couple getting married to allow them to die collectively on the battlefield.”

“I had no concept that it might take us all changing into Ukrainians to remind us what it means to be Individuals,” he stated, calling it “virtually surreal” to see such a nonpartisan and united response. He urged Utahns to “lean into the discomfort” of bipartisanship, saying “the world wants this.”

On Monday, Cox ordered the Ukrainian flag fly atop the Utah Capitol, “as an emblem that Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine,” he stated. “You might be our brothers and sisters this present day and all the time.”

The Ukrainian flag flies at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday. Gov. Spencer Cox ordered the Ukrainian flag be flown over the state Capitol on Monday.
The Ukrainian flag flies on the Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday. Gov. Spencer Cox ordered the Ukrainian flag be flown over the state Capitol on Monday. (Photograph: Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

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Many Capitol riot cases could hinge on 1st trial’s outcome


Isurrectionists storm the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. The primary trial for one of many a whole lot of Capitol riot prosecutions begins this week, with jury choice scheduled to start on Monday. (John Minchillo, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

WASHINGTON — The Justice Division launched one of many largest and most complicated felony investigations in its historical past after a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol over a yr in the past. Now it is time for a jury to listen to a few of the authorities’s proof concerning the unparalleled assault on American democracy.

The primary trial for one of many a whole lot of Capitol riot prosecutions begins this week, with jury choice scheduled to start on Monday for the case in opposition to Man Wesley Reffitt. The Texas man is charged with bringing a gun onto Capitol grounds, interfering with cops guarding the constructing, and threatening his teenage youngsters in the event that they reported him to authorities.

Reffitt’s trial might be a bellwether for a lot of different Capitol riot circumstances. A conviction would give prosecutors extra leverage in plea talks with rioters dealing with probably the most severe fees. An acquittal might lead others to attend for their very own day in court docket.

Reffitt “actually is the canary within the coal mine,” mentioned Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor who served as U.S. lawyer for the Western District of Texas from October 2020 to February 2021.

“It will actually be attention-grabbing to see how robust a case the federal government has and whether or not or not they’re counting on proof that, when pushed and examined, stands up. It may have a huge effect going ahead,” added Sofer, now a accomplice at a regulation agency.

Reffitt is a member of a militia-style group referred to as the “Texas Three Percenters,” in accordance with prosecutors. The Three Percenters militia motion refers back to the fable that solely 3% of Individuals fought within the Revolutionary Conflict in opposition to the British.


It will actually be attention-grabbing to see how robust a case the federal government has and whether or not or not they’re counting on proof that, when pushed and examined, stands up. It may have a huge effect going ahead.

–Gregg Sofer, former federal prosecutor


On Jan. 6, 2021, Reffitt was armed with a handgun in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and sporting physique armor and a helmet outfitted with a video digital camera when he and others charged at cops on the west facet of the Capitol, in accordance with prosecutors.

“This motion brought on the police line guarding the constructing to retreat nearer to the constructing itself; quickly after this, regulation enforcement was overwhelmed, and rioters flooded the constructing,” prosecutors wrote in a court docket submitting.

Reffitt retreated solely after an officer pepper sprayed him within the face, prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors imagine Reffitt took not less than two firearms with him to Washington: an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol. When FBI brokers searched Reffitt’s residence in Wylie, Texas, they discovered a handgun in a holster on a nightstand within the defendant’s bed room. Prosecutors say images and video of Reffitt through the riot present a handgun holster on his proper hip, with what seems to be a silver object contained in the holster.

On the morning of Jan. 6, Reffitt mentioned he deliberate to “do the recon after which come again for weapons scorching” and despatched messages about assembly at a “rendezvous level,” in accordance with prosecutors.

“These messages, together with the weapons that Reffitt carried and the gear he wore, clarify that the defendant didn’t come to D.C. with the intention to interact in peaceable exercise,” prosecutors wrote.

The siege resulted within the deaths of 5 individuals, together with a police officer. The Justice Division says greater than 235 rioters have been charged with assaulting or impeding regulation enforcement, injuring over 100 officers. Rioters brought on over $1 million in injury to the Capitol.

The Justice Division says its investigation has generated an unprecedented quantity of proof, with a whole lot of hundreds of paperwork and hundreds of hours of movies to share with protection attorneys. Shared information complete greater than 9 terabytes of data and would take over 100 days to view, the division says.

Greater than 750 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated to the riot. Over 200 of them have pleaded responsible, largely to misdemeanors carrying a most sentence of six months’ imprisonment. Greater than 100 riot defendants have been sentenced. And not less than 90 others have trial dates this yr.

Philadelphia-based protection lawyer Justin Danilewitz, who was a federal prosecutor in New Jersey from 2012 to 2017, mentioned a conviction in Reffitt’s case might result in a flurry of responsible pleas by different riot defendants.

“And that may profit defendants once in a while as a result of it is higher than the choice if the choice is a conviction following a trial,” Danilewitz added.

An acquittal may encourage different defendants to “dig of their heels” and both push for a greater plea supply from prosecutors or gamble a trial of their very own, he mentioned.

“It can even be attention-grabbing to see what the protection technique is within the face of this very compelling proof,” Danilewitz mentioned.

Protection lawyer William Welch has mentioned there isn’t a proof that Reffitt broken property, used drive or bodily harmed anyone. In a Might 2021 court docket submitting, Welch mentioned not one of the movies or images exhibits a gun in Reffitt’s possession on the Capitol.

“In actual fact, neither of the cops interviewed by the federal government mentioned something a couple of firearm,” he wrote.

Reffitt has been jailed since his arrest in Texas lower than every week after the riot. He faces 5 counts: obstruction of an official continuing, being unlawfully current on Capitol grounds whereas armed with a firearm, transporting firearms throughout a civil dysfunction, interfering with regulation enforcement officers throughout a civil dysfunction, and obstruction of justice.

The obstructing justice cost stems from threats that he allegedly made in opposition to his son, then 18, and daughter, then 16, after returning residence from Washington. Reffett informed his youngsters to “select a facet or die” and mentioned they might be traitors in the event that they reported him to regulation enforcement, prosecutors mentioned.

“He predicted future political violence in statements each to his household and to fellow militia members, bragged to fellow militia members about his involvement within the riot, recruited different rioters into the militia, and ordered bear spray and riot shields to his residence to organize for additional violence,” prosecutors wrote.

Messages recovered from Reffitt’s cellphone point out he deliberate to joined an armed rebellion on Jan. 6 and meant to occupy the Capitol, prosecutors mentioned.

“We had hundreds of weapons and fired no rounds but confirmed numbers. The following time we won’t be so cordial,” he wrote, in accordance with prosecutors.

Presiding over Reffitt’s trial is U.S. District Decide Dabney Friedrich, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017. Friedrich already has sentenced 9 rioters who pleaded responsible.

Prosecutors count on to name a couple of dozen witnesses, together with three Capitol cops who interacted with Reffitt and an officer who was answerable for the U.S. Capitol Police command middle.

Jurors will see movies that captured Reffitt’s confrontation with police. Prosecutors even have audio recordings of Reffitt speaking concerning the riot inside his residence after returning residence.

“We made some extent. That was a historic day,” Refffitt mentioned throughout one of many recorded conversations, in accordance with prosecutors. “And guess what? I am not finished but. I acquired much more to do. That is the start.”

Reffitt’s son, daughter and a fellow Texas Three Percenter group member are also listed as authorities witnesses. The group member traveled with Reffitt to Washington and again to Texas between Jan. 4 and Jan. 8, 2021.

“In the course of the drive (to Washington), Reffitt talked about ‘dragging these individuals out of the Capitol by their ankles’ and putting in a brand new authorities,” prosecutors wrote.

A court docket submitting that refers back to the different militia member by the initials “R.H.” says the person will inform jurors he was given immunity from prosecution in trade for his testimony.

Welch has mentioned Reffiitt labored as a rig supervisor and as a guide within the petroleum business earlier than COVID-19 restrictions successfully shut down his enterprise.

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Defendant Guy Reffitt goes to trial in Capitol insurrection case : NPR


The U.S. authorities says in its affidavit that this picture exhibits Man Reffitt rinsing his eyes exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, carrying a blue jacket over a tactical vest and a helmet with a digital camera.

Division of Justice


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The U.S. authorities says in its affidavit that this picture exhibits Man Reffitt rinsing his eyes exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, carrying a blue jacket over a tactical vest and a helmet with a digital camera.

Division of Justice

Practically 14 months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, the primary trial of a defendant charged in reference to the lethal assault opens Monday in federal court docket.

Man Reffitt, a Texas man who authorities say belongs to the self-styled Three Percenter militia motion, is charged with 5 counts, together with obstruction, civil dysfunction and getting into Capitol grounds with a firearm. He has pleaded not responsible.

The trial in U.S. District Court docket in Washington, D.C., is a milestone within the Capitol riot investigation, which officers say is without doubt one of the largest and most complicated in American historical past. To date, virtually 750 folks have been charged and round 220 have pleaded responsible. Of these, greater than 100 have already been sentenced.

The courthouse is simply down the road from the Capitol, the place on Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob punched its method by means of police strains and into the constructing as lawmakers have been assembly inside to certify Joe Biden’s election win.

The violent assault, which left greater than 100 law enforcement officials injured, briefly disrupted the certification of the Electoral School depend.

Reffitt would be the first Jan. 6 defendant to take his case to trial. It’s anticipated to start Monday morning with jury choice and final round one week.

Prosecutors say Reffitt performed a “important and harmful function” in riot

Prosecutors say Reffitt drove from his house in Wylie, Texas, to Washington, D.C., for Jan. 6 occasions and introduced an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol with him.

The federal government alleges in court docket papers that on Jan. 6, Reffitt performed a “important and harmful function” by main a gaggle of rioters up the steps of the Capitol to problem police guarding the complicated. Reffitt solely retreated, prosecutors say, after being hit with pepper spray.

Movies from the scene that day present a person authorities have recognized as Reffitt on the steps of the Capitol utilizing water to flush his eyes. He is seen carrying a helmet with a GoPro-style digital camera connected and a blue coat over a black tactical-style vest.

The U.S. authorities says in its affidavit that this picture exhibits Reffitt exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, carrying a blue jacket over a tactical vest and a helmet with a digital camera.

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The U.S. authorities says in its affidavit that this picture exhibits Reffitt exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, carrying a blue jacket over a tactical vest and a helmet with a digital camera.

Division of Justice

The Justice Division says that when Reffitt returned to Texas after Jan. 6, he warned his spouse, son and daughter that “they’d be traitors” in the event that they reported him to the authorities.

“Traitors will get shot,” he allegedly advised them.

FBI brokers interviewed Reffitt’s spouse, son and daughter. The federal government has mentioned it expects to name each of Reffitt’s youngsters to testify. It additionally plans to name U.S. Capitol Law enforcement officials who engaged with Reffitt on the steps of the Capitol, in addition to FBI brokers and Secret Service brokers.

Reffitt was arrested in January 2021 and has remained in authorities custody since then.

He faces 4 prices straight associated to the occasions of Jan. 6: obstructing an official continuing; unlawfully being on Capitol grounds with a firearm; transporting firearms throughout a civil dysfunction; and interfering with regulation enforcement throughout a civil dysfunction.

He is additionally charged with obstruction of justice associated to the threats he allegedly made towards his household after returning house.

Hundreds gather at state Capitol to rally support for Ukraine


Lots of gathered on the state Capitol in Salt Lake Metropolis on Saturday to face with Ukraine. (Jackson Grimm, KSL-TV)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Lots of gathered on the state Capitol Saturday in a rally to face with Ukraine.

“Imagine us. Our persons are being killed; children are being killed by the aggression of Russia,” Iryna Kavetska mentioned.

Kavetska, who has lived in Salt Lake County for 13 years, pleaded for the security of her household in Ukraine.

“Just about my complete household is again residence. My father, my grandparents and nice grandma, my cousins and uncles — everybody who I like is there,” she mentioned, including that her household is now below curfew to try to shield their metropolis.

“They’re turning off the lights at 8 p.m. to not give any probabilities of our (opponents) hurting us,” Kavetska mentioned.

A gaggle, initially from Moscow, spoke to KSL-TV throughout Saturday’s gathering.

“The very last thing we may do right this moment was simply sit residence and do nothing. We understand by standing right here, we could not change every thing, however we wish to present our assist — the solidarity that we stand for Ukraine, for what is true, and what’s simply.”

Nadia Pavlova-Caldwell is a Russian-American. She got here to the rally together with her husband and 4-year-old son.

“Russians wish to be free from this president; nobody is proud of Putin,” she mentioned. “If tens of millions will exit to the road and inform, yell and scream … after all they’ll ship you to the jail, however not the tens of millions. Not sufficient area,” she mentioned.

These attending the rally spoke of the obvious Russian disinformation marketing campaign.

“It is designed to make Ukrainians look violent. It’s propaganda that hides the reality,” Tyler Caldwell mentioned.

Ukrainian-Individuals had a plea for American authorities officers.

“Our major concern is: shut and shield the sky. After that, the Ukrainian military will defend themselves,” Kavetska mentioned. “Being so far-off from household, this rally is how we can assist to reunite collectively. We will reunite for freedom, for peace in the entire world.”

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Hundreds protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during rally at the Utah State Capitol


Members of the Ukrainian group are hoping for extra assist from nations throughout the globe.

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attendees march up the Capitol steps with Ukrainian flags and indicators throughout a rally in assist of Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

The Utah State Capitol steps have been a sea of blue and yellow on Saturday afternoon as a whole bunch of Utahns, Ukrainians, Russians and others protested Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Whereas cries of “Слава Україні! Героям слава!” rang out from the gang — which interprets to “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!” — one man stepped in entrance of the rally’s audio system. Wearing a blue-and-yellow striped button down, full with a yellow tie and sun shades, Jan Kubanek crouched down with the miniature tank he’d been carrying and pulled a bottle of lighter fluid from his pocket.

He sprayed the accelerant on the tank and had a small boy within the crowd “do the honors” — by lighting the tank on hearth.

“I possibly acquired into hassle but it surely’s value it,” stated Kubanek, who’s from the Czech Republic. “If I can get into hassle this manner and lift consciousness, that’s the least I can do, a minimum of right here.”

Supporters held Ukrainian flags, wore sunflower flower crowns and even waved bathroom paper printed with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s face whereas they listened to audio system from the Ukrainian group.

“We can not enable what occurred Nineteen Forties to occur once more immediately,” stated Yulia Holko, a board member of the Utah Ukrainian Affiliation. “Our brothers and sisters on the bottom in Ukraine are combating for his or her land. They’re very sturdy on the bottom, they’re pushing the Russian military again on the bottom. … We’re asking the worldwide group to proceed offering assist.”

(Ed Kosmicki | Particular to The Tribune) Justin Godto, whose girlfriend is Ukrainian, waves a Ukrainian flag and holds a poster throughout a rally on the Capitol Feb. 26, 2022.

Holko urged the worldwide group to ban Russia from SWIFT — which in response to CNN, is a safe community connecting monetary establishments across the globe — in an effort to strangle the nation’s financial system.

She additionally known as upon European nations to offer Ukraine with navy sources, since though civilian militias are combating the Russian military, the nation stays susceptible from the air.

“Europe, do you need to endure some monetary penalties immediately, or do you need to have Putin at your step tomorrow?” Holko requested. “We should cease him.”

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Yulia Holko, left, and Anya Baryshok, proper, converse to the gang throughout a rally in assist of Ukraine on the Capitol on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. Holko and Baryshok are each part of the Utah Ukranian Affiliation.

Honorary Consul of Spain Baldomero Lago stated the presidency of the Utah Consular Corps, which represents 30 nations around the globe, wrote a decision in assist of Ukraine — condemning Russia’s “illegal” actions and demanding the instant withdrawal of Russian troops from the sovereign nation.

However Ukrainians are hoping for extra motion, not simply phrases, from the worldwide group.

“We’re simply actually asking the nationwide group to not hesitate and to be to be very agency of their actions and to not delay, as a result of each hour that we’re delaying, it’s inflicting Ukraine many, many lives,” Holko stated. “We’re simply asking for the world to be actually sturdy of their stand towards Putin. In the end, he ought to actually be overthrown — he’s a risk to your entire world and Ukraine is making an attempt to cease that risk.”

(Jordan Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attendees maintain up Ukrainian flags and indicators on the steps of the Capitol throughout a rally in assist of Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

(Ed Kosmicki | Particular to The Tribune) Members maintain flags, indicators and sunflowers, the nationwide flower of Ukraine, throughout a rally on the Capitol steps Saturday, Feb. 26 2022. An estimated 500 folks attended the rally in solidarity with Ukraine, which was invaded this week by Russia.