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First Jan. 6 Trial to Open, Allowing Prosecutors to Set Out Broad Case


Beyond such technical matters, the trial will feature what amounts to a panoramic view of the violence at the Capitol.

Prosecutors have said, for example, that they intend to prove their claim that a “civil disorder” occurred that day by showing the jury “the progression of the riot” through a compilation of surveillance videos from both outside and inside the building. The jury is also expected to see portions of a 31-minute video that Mr. Reffitt recorded during the riot as well as a clip of Vice President Mike Pence hurrying down a staircase after attackers breached the building.

Three Capitol Police officers are set to testify about their firsthand attempts to stop Mr. Reffitt — and others — from breaking past security by firing pepper balls and spraying tear gas at the crowd. One of those officers, Shauni Kerkhoff, is scheduled to be the first witness at the trial, prosecutors have said.

Mr. Reffitt’s lawyer, William L. Welch III, has not said much about the defense he intends to mount, but his client has openly pushed back against accusations that he took part in anything untoward at the Capitol. In a letter obtained by ProPublica last spring, Mr. Reffitt wrote of the attack, “There was no insurrection, no conspiracy, no sinister plan and no reason to think otherwise.”

On Thursday, a message purportedly written by Mr. Reffitt was posted on the “J6 Patriot News” channel on Telegram, discussing the “beginning of the 1/6 Political Prisoner Trials.”

Capitol Riot’s Aftermath: Key Developments

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Ivanka Trump. Mr. Trump’s eldest daughter, who served as one of his senior advisers, is said to be in talks with the House committee about the possibility of sitting for an interview with the panel.

“I am prepared to stare down the barrel of tyranny to receive the bullet of freedom,” the message said.

The case is one of several that will feature evidence about the U.S. militia movement. Prosecutors say that Mr. Reffitt was a member of the Texas Three Percenters, one of several state chapters of a larger organization that focuses on gun rights and antigovernment activity.

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