The son of Capitol rioter Guy Reffitt said his father was used as a “puppet” on January 6, 2021.
Peyton, Guy Reffitt’s daughter, had previously called for Donald Trump to be given “life in prison.”
The elder Reffitt was given the longest sentence to date in a Jan. 6 prosecution on Monday.
Before Guy Reffitt led a pro-Trump mob up the stairs to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, “polarizing disagreements” arose within his family over how to view him as he drifted deeper into a far-right, anti-government militia.
“It’s been very difficult the past few years,” Reffitt’s son, Jackson Reffitt, said in a statement CNN interview. “It feels like we’re each pulling each string in one way.”
But after seeing their father sentenced to… more than seven years in prison On Monday — the longest jail term so far ordered in a Jan. 6 case — his children were united in at least one opinion: Former President Donald Trump should face even harsher consequences.
“My dad was used as a puppet, and thousands of families have been. And whether you deny or agree that, they’re just… they’re facts right now,” Jackson Reffitt said in an interview with Brianna Keilar from CNN.
Referring to Trump, he added, “It’s disgusting to see someone with … money and social power just get away with manipulating thousands of people for whatever reason and to no avail.”
Judge Dabney Friedrich sentenced Guy Reffitt to more than seven years – or 87 months – in prison after a jury convicted him in March of five charges related to the January 6 uprising, including obstruction of official proceedings and bringing a firearm to trespassing on the Capitol. The jury also found Reffitt guilty of threatening his own children to prevent them from reporting him to the police.
During the March trial, Jackson Reffitt took the stand, recalling turning his father in to police weeks before January 6 — on Christmas Eve in 2020 — after becoming alarmed at his incendiary rhetoric and planning “something big.” to do. Jackson Reffitt, who was 19 when he took the stand, testified that he later secretly recorded with his father after returning to Texas from Washington, D.C., effusively talking about his experience leading a pro-Trump up the stairs to the Capitol, where he wore tactical gear and faced the police.
But when federal agents tracked down suspected participants in the Capitol bombing, Guy Reffitt became alarmed and told his children that they would be traitors if they turned him into law enforcement — and that “traitors get shot.”
At Reffitt’s sentencing Monday, a prosecutor read a letter from Jackson Reffitt advocating for his father to get mental health care and take advantage of “all the safety nets” available in the prison system. In comments to the judge, Guy Reffitt’s daughter also drew attention to her father’s mental health issues, and the former president — without mentioning Trump — appeared to blame the January 6 events.
“My father’s name wasn’t on the flags everyone was carrying that day,” Reffitt’s daughter Peyton said. “It was another man’s name.”
Referring to her father, she added, “He was not the leader.”
Outside the courthouse after her father’s conviction, Peyton Reffitt gave a… botter review.
“Trump deserves a life sentence if my father is in prison that long,” she said.
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