A Texas man who joined a mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6 told two rioters he had set up a security company as a front to access law enforcement-grade weaponry that could be used to “take back our country,” according to private, encrypted messages revealed Saturday by prosecutors.
Guy Reffitt, who drove from Texas to Washington, D.C., also said in recorded conversations that he and others were carrying firearms during the siege of the Capitol. He also encouraged his two associates to join the “Texas Three Percenters” militia, according to the messages posted to Telegram.
“I have a new security business to circumvent the 2nd Amendment issue,” Reffitt told the pair. “Website is under construction but business is licensed with Secretary of State, Texas DPS, and Texas Board of Private Security. We can get ammo and weapons available to law enforcement. We have an interior certified training officer. Join us and lets take back our country. The fight has only just begun.”
Prosecutors described the arrangement in an effort to persuade a judge that Reffitt is too dangerous to be released before his trial on charges related to the Capitol assault. Reffitt is a self-described Three Percenter, which prosecutors describe as an ideology rooted in the notion that the current government is the equivalent of British oppressors and can be overthrown by armed militias.
They noted that Reffitt misled the FBI about his company — TTP Security, LLC — telling them it had no connection to the Texas Three Percenters. Rather, he said, it stood for “Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures.”
“However, the defendant’s January 9, 2021 Telegram message to his fellow rioters (and prospective TTP militia members) reveals this to be false,” prosecutors said.
Reffit’s post-Jan. 6 recruitment efforts were not the only startling aspect of prosecutors’ allegations against him. They also revealed that his behavior before Jan. 6 had so alarmed his family that at least one member reported him to the FBI, worrying he was “going to do some serious damage” to Congress.
And when Reffitt returned from D.C. on Jan. 8, a family member covertly recorded his conversations and shared them with law enforcement.
“These statements arguably indicate his true intentions, as he was apparently not aware that anyone was recording him,” prosecutors noted.
In his conversations, he described bringing a firearm into the Capitol, a significant admission since federal authorities have indicated they have not yet proven that anyone inside the Capitol carried a gun. Reffitt also said he was aware that other rioters were carrying guns as well.
“I did bring a weapon on property that we own. Federal grounds or not,” he said. “The law is written, but it doesn’t mean it’s right law. The people that were around me were all carrying, too.”
Similarly, Reffitt said: “Even though this gun was right here loaded, all I had to do was that and shoot, but I didn’t have to do that. I chose, and everyone chose, not to,” Reffitt said, according to the recording of his conversation.
Reffitt in January told FBI agents that although he had transported a pistol to Washington, he disassembled it to comply with D.C. law.
In recorded conversation with his family, Reffitt also indicated that his participation in the Jan. 6 events was “only the preface of the book.” “It’s just a notification of what you’re going to read in the future,” he said.
In earlier filings, prosecutors revealed that Reffitt’s son and daughter spoke to law enforcement. His son, in particular, said he believed his father had physically threatened him over any cooperation with the FBI. In Saturday’s filing, prosecutors revealed Reffitt’s son has since “taken substantial steps to secure his safety, including, among other things, relocating from his family’s home to an undisclosed location.”
Piecing together the recordings, private messages and recordings made by Reffitt, prosecutors also painted a picture of Reffitt’s actions on Jan. 6. In messages, Reffitt told associates he planned to do “recon” at the Capitol before bringing weapons.
Reffitt charged the Capitol toward the front of the mob that ultimately overtook it, they say, “carrying his pistol and flexi-cuffs, and wearing body armor and a helmet mounted with a video camera.” A geolocating app on Reffitt’s phone showed he arrived at the west side of the Capitol around 1:50 p.m., just before the crowd charged past police and into the building.
In one privately recorded conversation, prosecutors say, Reffitt described his charge at the Capitol, claiming he was hit with rubber bullets and pepper spray,
“I didn’t make it in. But I started the fire,” Reffitt said in another recorded conversation while narrating a video of his role in the siege.
He then described his interaction with a Capitol Police officer who engaged him as he charged toward her.
“[S]he ran behind the wall like this. And she was like, and she go back out and she looked and I was like, I’m not stopping. And she went like, pop, pow, pow. And then she was like trying to shoot me again, and she went back behind the wall,” Reffitt said. “And then all of a sudden she comes back out and then a guy come around her and hit me with a bear mace. And I was like, all right, you’re good. … She was cute. She was a little scared. We were all scared. Everybody was scared.”