Jun 13, 2022 - News

Texas insurrectionist is a leader in the "patriot wing" of D.C. jail

Chaos and mayhem at the US Capitol last January
Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Guy Reffitt, the Wylie man who became the first person convicted at trial for playing a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, has made friends with some of the other insurrectionists he met in the "patriot wing" of a Washington, D.C., jail, according to the New Yorker.

Why it matters: The friendships formed in the jail unit are emblematic of a consolidation of right-wing extremism that has taken place since Jan. 6.

What they're saying: One attorney for a different Jan. 6 defendant said the political views of defendants in the so-called "patriot wing" were growing increasingly extreme.

  • "It was almost cult-like," attorney Stephen Brennwald said in a hearing last fall, per the New Yorker story.

Details: Reffitt, who was turned in to the FBI by his son, was taught to play a card game — Magic: The Gathering — by Jessica Watkins, a bartender and militia leader from rural Ohio who is awaiting trial on charges of seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding.

  • Reffitt and Watkins helped start a tradition of singing the national anthem every night.
  • Reffitt, who was recorded saying he was going to drag members of Congress out of the Capitol "kicking and screaming," now believes the events of Jan. 6 were staged by police to entrap him.

Zoom out: Former President Trump said at a rally in Texas this year that the prosecution of Jan. 6 rioters is a "disgrace" and floated the idea that if he were re-elected he'd pardon them.

What's next: Reffitt is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, per the New Yorker.

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