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Arkansan Who Put His Feet on Pelosi Office Desk Is Convicted

Richard Barnett, who put his feet up on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office as rioters swarmed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was convicted by a Washington, D.C., jury Monday of all eight charges he faced, reports Politico. Barnett, 62, was convicted of obstructing Congress’ Jan. 6 proceedings, which carries a 20-year maximum sentence, as well as disorderly conduct in the Capitol carrying a dangerous weapon: a “Hike ‘N Strike” walking stick that doubles as a stun weapon. He was convicted of stealing an envelope from the desk in Pelosi’s suite. The Arkansan, who goes by “Bigo,” became a symbol of the brazenness of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and his smiling image while seated in a desk chair in Pelosi’s suite went viral. He left her a note that read, “Nancy, Bigo was here bi-otch,” and, after his arrest, tried to copyright the phrase. Video showed him waving the purloined envelope — addressed to then-Rep. Billy Long (R-MO).

Barnett took the stand in his own defense, saying he was “pushed” into the Capitol by the mob and then was looking for a bathroom until he stumbled into Pelosi’s suite. He said he took the envelope because he had bled on it and viewed it as a “biohazard.” He left an American flag inside the office as well. He said he was angered by police actions outside the Capitol, disoriented after being maced in the rotunda and made overheated statements in the moment. Prosecutors forcefully rebutted Barnett’s contentions in tense cross-examination that caused Barnett to grow frustrated Barnett described himself as a “fucking idiot” who made intemperate comments but said he shouldn’t be held criminally responsible. Prosecutors said Barnett angrily berated Capitol Police officers inside the rotunda after leaving Pelosi’s suite, appearing to beckon the mob forward as he demanded the officers retrieve his flag. Though he didn’t deploy his stun weapon, prosecutors say its presence presented a threat, and the jury agreed.

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