Man in viral photo sitting at Pelosi’s desk posted he was ‘prepared for a violent death’

He told reporters he found the desk while looking for a bathroom

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 07 January 2021 18:50 GMT
Richard Barnett sits at the desk of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Richard Barnett sits at the desk of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (AFP via Getty Images)
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Richard Barnett, the rioter captured in a viral photo sitting at the desk of Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the storming of the US Capitol, said in a Facebook post that he was prepared for a violent death, The Washington Post reported.

Mr Barnett posted a picture of himself with a rifle using a Facebook account linked to him by The Post, writing that he “came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else’s blood... I’m not afraid to go out the same way.”

He has previously criticised Speaker Nancy Pelosi for using the term White nationalist in a derogatory way. Mr Barnett, from Arkansas, posted under a pseudonym that: “I am white. There is no denying that. I am a nationalist. I put my nation first. So that makes me a white nationalist," he wrote adding that anyone who doesn't identify as a nationalist should leave the country.

Mr Barnett was open about the fact that he had been in the Speaker's office when speaking to a New York Times reporter.

Speaking to Arkansas TV-station 5News, Barnett criticised the actions of the Capitol Police. "We marched down there. They start tear-gassing us. They start roughing up our people. It pissed some people off," he said.

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5News asked him about the possibility of federal charges against him. He said: "Am I scared? Hell no. But yeah, there's a possibility. I didn't do anything. I didn't breach the doors. I got shoved in. I didn't mean to be there. Hell. I was walking around looking for a bathroom."

Mr Barnett told 5News that he was pushed inside the Capitol when the mob broke through the doors. He later found the Speaker's office.

"I threw my feet up on the desk," he said. Then he realized that he was bleeding from a cut. "I bled on her envelope, so I picked up the envelope and put it in my pocket, and I put a quarter on the desk cause I'm not a thief."

Facebook posts on accounts linked to Mr Barnett by The Washington Post has been spreading false claims of voter fraud. While he criticised the actions of the Capitol Police, he has been seen in images wearing a Blue Lives Matter logo in support of law enforcement. He has also fundraised for the police department in Sulphur Springs in Arkansas, The Westside Eagle-Observer reported.

According to the same paper, Mr Barnett helped raise over $1000 for “Save Our Children,” a campaign working to stop child-trafficking that has had its social media presence limited after spreading Qanon conspiracy theories which falsely alleges that the global elite is filled with child abusers.

Mr Barnett has also shared conspiracy theories about Covid and the new vaccines aimed at ending the pandemic. He has also complained about mask mandates.

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