WASHINGTON -- Guy Reffitt was equipped with a handgun as well as zip ties, when he attempted to storm Capitol on Jan. 6. A friend and fellow member a right-wing organization testified at Friday's first Capitol riot trial.
Rocky Hardie, an ex-member of the Texas Three Percenters testified that Reffitt and he traveled from Texas to D.C. in Reffitt’s Chevy Equinox. It was loaded with their rifles and handguns as well as ammo.
Jurors heard testimony previously from Jackson Reffitt. Jackson Reffitt tipped off FBI before Jan. 6 and recorded his dad bragging about the riot. Next week, the jury will begin deliberating.
Hardie testified that they stopped at Virginia to disassemble their weapons before traveling to the Georgetown hotel, D.C.
Hardie spoke of preparing for the events that would unfold on Jan. 6. He described how they got to Reffitt’s car, reassembled their rifles (which they said they had left in the car), and then strapped their guns to their bodies before heading to the rally of former President Donald Trump.
Hardie stated that he and Reffitt knew of strict gun laws in D.C. and that they had researched reciprocity laws in other states they visited to confirm that their concealed carry permits were valid. They decided that they would be armed on Jan. 6, even though it was against the law.
Hardie testified that they used Hardie's phrase "It's better for a jury of twelve to try than six people carrying it," Hardie said. Hardie testified that they decided to "take that risk" and be charged with unlawfully carrying weapons.
Hardie was a part of an agreement with federal officials that prohibits prosecutors using Hardie's testimony in Reffitt cases to build a case against Hardie. Hardie will still face criminal charges for Jan. 6.
Hardie and Reffitt, who testified that Trump believed his false claims about the 2020 election being stolen, joked about pulling Nancy Pelosi down from the U.S. Capitol stairs.
Hardie stated that he believed Reffitt was joking and that Reffitt wouldn't follow through. Hardie testified that he had assumed that the Capitol would remain secure and that rioters would not be able to get close to it without being shot.
Reffitt, Hardie and a radio communicated on Jan. 6. He said they were separated at Capitol but Reffitt communicated to Hardie what he was going try to do.
Hardie stated, "At one point he said that he was trying inside the building."
Hardie, who stated that he still believes the election was stolen, claimed that he was proud to have been a part of the Jan. 6 events.
"I felt it was historically significant. Hardie stated that she actually turned up. "I wasn't ashamed."
Hardie stated that he was also impressed with Reffitt’s actions.
Hardie testified that he felt more courageous than me. "I wasn’t going up there."
Hardie testified that he left the Texas Three Percenters following a visit by the FBI. Hardie also testified that the bureau raided Hardie's home and business.
Reffitt's lawyer argued that Reffitt exaggerates, rants and that the government's case rests on "bragging" and "a lot of hype."
William Welch, Reffitt attorney, asked Hardie questions about his visit by the FBI in January 6. Hardie stated that he refused to allow the FBI into his home but only answered a few questions outside. Soon, the FBI arrived at Hardie's home with search warrants.
Welch asked Hardie about his immunity agreement and pointed out that he hadn't been charged with his actions on Jan. 6.
"You haven't been charged for a crime yet, correct?" Welch inquired, referring to Hardie's business trips to Mexico, Florida, Thailand, and the upcoming trip to Thailand. Hardie stated that it was beneficial for him to tell the truth to avoid being charged.
Hardie testified that "somebody in government is going to decide whether I lied or not."
"Mr. Reffitt brags, doesn't he?" Welch asked. "Mr. Reffitt uses hyperbole, doesn't he?" Hardie agreed with Reffitt's exaggeration and boastfulness.