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Richard Barnett, The ‘Stubborn’ Rioter Who Put His Feet On Nancy Pelosi’s Desk, Sentenced To Over 4 Years

Richard Barnett, the man who propped his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in a widely circulated photo from the U.S. Capitol riot, was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison.

When delivering the sentence, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper noted that Barnett, also known as Bigo, had become one of the faces of the Jan. 6 violence by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and at times appeared to relish the attention.

“All the folks who follow ‘Bigo’ need to know the actions of Jan. 6 cannot be repeated without some serious repercussions,” Cooper said, alluding to the media attention and social media following Barnett attracted after the riot.

Barnett, a retired firefighter from Gravette, Arkansas, was given a 54-month sentence after being found guilty on eight counts at trial, including felony charges of civil disorder and obstructing a congressional session on January 6, 2021, which was intended to certify Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

He became one of the most recognizable characters from the incident thanks to images showing Barnett relaxing at a desk in Pelosi’s office. 63-year-old Barnett claimed in court that he was “going with the flow” and that he posed after being instructed by news photographers to “act natural.”

He told the judge that joining the riot was “an enigma in my life” that he regretted, but said prosecutors wanted him to be “remorseful for things I did not do.”

“Jan. 6 was a traumatic day for everyone, not just law enforcement,” he said. He has vowed to appeal his conviction. He testified at trial that he was swept along with the crowd into the Capitol, and was looking for a bathroom when he unwittingly entered Pelosi’s office and encountered two news photographers.

Cooper, though, said he did not believe Barnett played such a passive role. At trial, it was proven that Barnett had taken a stun gun with spikes hidden within a foldable walking stick into the Capitol. The note Barnett left behind was, “Nancy, Bigo was here,” and it was punctuated with a misogynistic epithet. He also stole a piece of Pelosi’s mail.

Before leaving Capitol grounds, Barnett used a bullhorn to give a speech to the crowd, shouting, “We took back our house, and I took Nancy Pelosi’s office!” according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also said Barnett has since posted “falsehoods” on social media about Jan. 6 and downplaying his role. “The defendant still believes he can say or do whatever he wants and if someone else is threatened by it, that’s their problem,” prosecutor Alison Prout said.

Defence attorney Jonathan Gross said Barnett didn’t hurt anyone or damage property and was being singled out because the photo had made him famous.

“Mr Barnett should not be punished because the government thinks he’s a symbol,” he said.

Cooper’s sentence fell short of the approximately seven years prosecutors sought, though it was more than defence attorneys’ request for a 12-month term.

Source – Tru News Report


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