Jury Convicts Man Who Posed With Boot on Desk in Pelosi’s Office

Richard Barnett became one of the highest-profile defendants charged in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol after he was photographed with his boot on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

A man in a cap and jeans sitting in a chair with a boot on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. An American flag is draped over a nearby cabinet.
Richard Barnett inside Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He was convicted on eight counts on Monday.Credit...Saul Loeb/ Getty Images

An Arkansas man who posed with his boot propped on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was convicted by a federal jury on Monday of eight counts, including disorderly conduct in a capitol building, prosecutors said.

The man, Richard Barnett, 62, of Gravette, Ark., became one of the highest-profile defendants charged in the storming of the Capitol after he was photographed in Ms. Pelosi’s office, wearing a hat, plaid jacket, bluejeans and brown boots, with a stun gun dangling from his belt, prosecutors said.

Mr. Barnett faces up to 47 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 3, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Barnett’s lawyer, Joseph D. McBride, said that his client, a former window salesman, planned to appeal the verdict, which he said a jury had returned after deliberating for only two hours.

“He loves God,” Mr. McBride said in an interview on Monday. “He loves his country. He understands he did something wrong. He doesn’t think his life should end because he put his feet up on somebody’s desk.”

In one photo taken on Jan. 6, Mr. Barnett put a boot on the desk in Ms. Pelosi’s office and reclined in a chair, arms stretched wide.

In another photo, he held up an envelope from Ms. Pelosi that was addressed to a congressman, which he then stole, prosecutors said.

Mr. Barnett said in an interview that day that he had not stolen the envelope. Rather, he said, he had left a quarter on Ms. Pelosi’s desk, even though he said she wasn’t “worth it,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

Mr. Barnett, who is known as Bigo, also said that he had left a note on the desk that read, “Nancy, Bigo was here,” adding a sexist slur, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that they later learned that Mr. Barnett had been carrying a stun gun tucked into his pants when he was photographed in Ms. Pelosi’s office. The packaging for the stun gun was found in Mr. Barnett’s home when investigators executed a search warrant there, prosecutors said.

Mr. Barnett had been arrested on Jan. 8, 2021, and indicted on Jan. 29, 2021, on eight counts — four felonies and four misdemeanors, prosecutors said.

In addition to disorderly conduct, the charges included obstruction of an official proceeding; aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building; and theft of government property.

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Mr. Barnett’s lawyer argued in court that his client was “involuntarily” pushed into the Capitol by the surging crowd.Credit...Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

Mr. Barnett pleaded not guilty to all eight counts on Feb. 4, 2021, and had waged an effort to be freed on bond.

Appearing by video from jail at a hearing in March 2021, he erupted in anger after Judge Christopher Cooper of Federal District Court in Washington set the next court date in his case for a day in May, shouting that he did not want to remain behind bars for “another month.”

“They’re dragging this out!” Mr. Barnett yelled. “They’re letting everybody else out!”

Mr. Barnett was released on April 27, 2021, on home confinement with restrictions, Mr. McBride said.

At trial this month, Mr. McBride said he had argued that Mr. Barnett was “involuntarily” pushed into the Capitol by the surging crowd and that his actions were “grounded in political protest.”

Mr. Barnett had been wandering the halls, looking for the restroom when he went into Ms. Pelosi’s office, Mr. McBride said.

“He’s not a domestic terrorist, but he is everyone’s crazy redneck uncle from out of town,” Mr. McBride said during opening statements last week, UPI reported.

Pointing to what he called the “political nature of the case,” Mr. McBride said in an interview on Monday that it had been impossible for Mr. Barnett to get a fair trial in Washington, where he said that jurors are overwhelmingly supportive of President Biden. He said his motions to have the trial moved out of Washington had all been rejected by the judge.

“Obviously, we are disappointed with the jury’s finding,” Mr. McBride said. “We knew going into the trial that the deck was stacked against us.”