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Prosecutors' Hint at Strategy For First Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Jury Trial

Prosecutors have begun began laying out their trial strategy for Jan. 6 Capitol riot cases in the clearest detail yet, indicating they intend to call Capitol Police officers, a former Senate aide, a member of the Three Percenters militia who was granted immunity and the Secret Service agent who helped supervise then-Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Capitol that day, Politico reports. Prosecutors filed their proposed witness list in the case of Guy Reffitt, a Texas man who was charged with storming onto Capitol grounds, attacking Capitol Police officers and carrying a firearm. Reffitt is charged with civil disorder, obstructing Congress’ proceedings, carrying a semiautomatic handgun to the Capitol and after returning home, attempting to obstruct justice. Secret Service agent Paula Wade will tell jurors about Pence’s visit to the Capitol with his family members. Wade will also walk jurors through surveillance footage of Pence’s evacuation.

The witnesses include three Capitol Police officers who say they attempted to stop Reffitt’s advance with pepper balls and chemical spray. Sgt. Adam DesCamp, Sgt. Matthew Flood and Officer Shauni Kerkhoff are expected to describe confronting Reffitt outside the Capitol. Their testimony will be supported by surveillance video clips, radio clips and photos taken of their interactions with Reffitt. The witness list indicates that jurors will get a history lesson on the Electoral Count Act from Daniel Schwager, who was counsel to the secretary of the Senate on Jan. 6, 2021, and was on the Senate floor when rioters broke into the building and forced them to evacuate. Schwager will explain to jurors how the Jan. 6 session of Congress worked and its significance in finalizing the results of presidential elections. Reffitt’s trial is slated to begin Feb. 28 and could be the first arising from the Capitol attack to come before a jury.


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