Capitol rioter who breached Pelosi’s office convicted

Advertisement

Richard “Bigo” Barnett was among the crowd of thousands of Trump supporters who stormed Congress on January 6, 2021.

Two years after the deadly Capitol storming by supporters of former President Donald Trump, a rioter who posed with his feet propped up atop former House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk has been found guilty of all charges.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett was among the crowd of thousands of supporters of Trump who stormed Congress on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election result, reports the BBC.

The former House Speaker was forced to flee the chamber floor with other lawmakers as the protesters stormed their way into the building.

Armed with a stun gun, Barnett, a former firefigher, posed for photos after breaking into Pelosi’s office and boasted of stealing an envelope before leaving the premises.

He also wrote a note on her desk using a sexist slur, and used a bullhorn to brag to the crowd that “I took Nancy Pelosi’s office”.

File photo taken on Jan. 6, 2021 shows supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gathering near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Jie/IANS)

On Monday, a jury in Washington D.C. deliberated for less than three hours before convicting the 62-year-old of all eight charges against him, which include obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly weapon; and theft of government property.

Prosecutors argued that Barnett came to Washington D.C. from his home in Arkansas “prepared for violence”.

Barnett, who chose to testify in his own defence during the trial, argued that he was caught up “in the moment” and was “going with the flow”, the BBC reported.

After the verdict was read on Monday, Barnett said he did not get a fair trial because the jury was not made up of his “peers”.

His lawyer, Joe McBride, said he would appeal.

“Washington D.C., is not a state. He’s not surrounded by people of Arkansas, where he came from,” the BBC quoted McBride, referring to the city’s status as a district rather than one of the 50 US states, as saying.

The judge allowed Barnett to remain free until his sentencing hearing on May 3. He is facing decades in federal prison.

Barnett’s trial has been one of the most high-profile to stem from the riot.

Over 940 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the breach and nearly 500 have pleaded guilty so far.

ALSO READ: Trump ‘lit that fire’ of Capitol insurrection, reveals Jan. 6 report

[mc4wp_form id=""]