Capitol rioter photographed with feet on Pelosi’s desk ‘entitled, brazen, dangerous’, judge says

Richard Barnett ordered to remain in jail pending trial for charges stemming from Capitol siege

I was with the rioters who stormed the Capitol - they knew exactly what they were doing

An outraged federal judge in Washington DC has ordered Richard Barnett – who was photographed with his leg on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk during the Capitol insurrection on 6 January – to remain in jail pending a trial.

US District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell condemned the mob’s attempt to "disrupt the peaceful transfer of power" during a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, and described Barnett’s actions as “brazen, entitled, dangerous”.

Richard Barnett, a supporter of President Trump, in the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the Capitol insurrection last week

The judge argued that he had “prepared with a weapon” and was “cloaked with entitlement” and “happy to be one of the stars” of the attack. As he left the Capitol building, Barnett boasted to reporters that he had left a quarter on the speaker’s desk along with a note that said “Nancy, Bigo was here, you B*****”.

“I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk and scratched my b****,” he told a reporter from The New York Times.

He wrote on Facebook that he “came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else’s blood” and that he wasn’t “afraid to go out the same way”.

Barnett was arrested on 8 January in Arkansas on a range of charges related to the attack, including violent entry, entering government property with a dangerous weapon (a stun gun) and theft of government property (a piece of mail from Speaker Pelosi’s desk).

A seven-page statement of facts for his arrest says that the label of a stun gun brand is clearly visible on the gun tucked into his pants, a photo of which is attached to the document, showing Barnett with his leg on Speaker Pelosi’s desk.

Police discovered packaging for the same gun while executing a search warrant at his home in Arkansas.

On 15 January, a federal magistrate judge in Arkansas ordered that Barnett be released to home detention pending a trial. On Thursday, Judge Howell granted a government appeal to keep him behind bars.

More than 150 people have been charged with crimes related to the attack.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced conspiracy charges against three people with ties to the Oathkeepers, which officials described as a “paramilitary organization focused on recruitment of current and former military, law enforcement, and first responder personnel”. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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