MAGA fan who sat at Pelosi’s desk and GOP lawmaker among first arrests for Capitol riots

Arrest comes as West Virginia lawmaker also arrested for storming Capitol

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
@graemekmassie
Friday 08 January 2021 21:13
comments
DC AG suggests Trump could face charges for inciting Capitol riot
Leer en Español

The Donald Trump supporter who sat with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk during the Capitol Building riot has been arrested.

Richard Barnett, the Arkansas supporter of Mr Trump pictured in the House Speaker’s office, was arrested and charged with entering and remaining on restricting grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property, said the Justice Department.

Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, had boasted that he took a personalised envelope from Ms Pelosi’s desk and left her a quarter and a “nasty note.”

Barnett claimed that he and “politely” knocked on the Democrat’s office door but was swept inside by a group of rioters.

"I'll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the DC jail," he later told the New York Times.

Authorities have also charged a West Virginia lawmaker who recorded and then deleted a video of himself storming the Capitol in connection with the rioting.

Republican Derrick Evans  has been charged in a criminal complaint with entering a restricted area and entering the US Capitol, according to Ken Kohl, of the DC US attorney’s office.

His lawyer has claimed the politician was at the event to “engage in peaceful protest, activism and amateur journalism.”

An online petition calling for the delegate to resign has now collected more than 55,000 signatures.

Thousands of pro-Trump activists broke into the building, vandalised property and threatened lawmakers, who had to be protected by armed security.

The rioters managed to initially prevent the certification of the electoral college votes, but when the building was re-taken by law enforcement the House and Senate returned to confirm Joe Biden’s victory.

US Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick was killed in the violence, one woman was shot dead inside the Capitol, and three others died of “medical emergencies” during the shameful events.

Mr Trump infamously initially refused to call in the National Guard and later released a video in which he told the rioters, “we love you.”

He later put out a second video a day later in which he finally condemned the violence but falsely claimed he “immediately” sent in the Guard.

Mr Trump’s supporters even “defecated’ inside the Capitol Building before tracking it around the offices of lawmakers.

The outgoing president’s rioters smeared “their extremist excrement around the building,” said sources in Senator Chuck Schumer’s office.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments