WASHINGTON — The man photographed with his feet on a desk in Nancy Pelosi’s office on Jan. 6 was found guilty on all eight counts for his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
A Washington, D.C. jury reached a verdict Monday in the trial of Richard “Bigo” Barnett, who brought a stun gun with him to the Capitol on Jan. 6, stole an envelope from a Pelosi-aide’s desk, and left a letter for the former speaker that said, “Hey Nancy, Bigo was here, you biotch.”
Barnett, who testified in his defense last week, said he was pushed into the Capitol and unknowingly entered Pelosi’s office searching for a bathroom. He claimed he took the envelope because it had his blood on it, and that he only intended to use the stun gun for defensive purposes.
Immediately after the verdict was shared in court, Barnett said he was “absolutely not” given a fair trial.
“I think the venue should’ve been changed. This is not a jury of my peers. I don’t agree with the decision, but I do appreciate the process. We’re surely gonna appeal,” Barnett said.
The prosecution argued throughout the trial that Barnett “came prepared for violence.” It cited numerous posts on Barnett’s Facebook promoting Jan. 6, including one titled “Operation Occupy the Capitol: Taking back our country from corrupt politicians.”
The Arkansas man was convicted of civil disorder for impeding Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Terrence Craig in the Capitol Rotunda. The officer’s body camera footage from Jan. 6 shows Barnett yelling profanity and demanding Craig retrieve his flag, which Barnett said he left in Pelosi’s office.
“I’m gonna make it real bad if you don’t get my flag,” Barnett said to Craig on Jan. 6 “I’m gonna call ‘em in.”
The civil disorder charge was only added on Dec. 22, 2022. Prior to the trial, the defense called the charge an “eleventh hour surprise” and asked for it to be dismissed.
“It put us on our back,” Joseph McBride, Barnett’s lead attorney, said Monday. “After two years, no fact changed in this trial and they put this charge in there that entirely changed our defensive strategy in this case. We believe we have very strong chances on appeal given the nature of everything I just said about that charge and the indictment.”
Barnett was also convicted on three additional felony charges and four misdemeanors. The charges include disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon; theft of government property; and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Assistant U.S Attorney Michael Gordon explained in his closing argument why Barnett’s actions were more consequential than the photograph that made him famous.
“He’s not here because he put his feet on the desk. We’re not here because he stole an envelope. Although that’s part of the charged crime. We’re here because on January 6th the defendant committed eight different federal crimes,” Gordon said.
Gordon continued, “The defendant says he has regrets. But he’s not regretful about entering the Capitol. He’s not regretful that he personally participated in an effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power, and that his actions for a time did so. In the end, the good guys won. But he did exactly what he set out to do.”
The jury came to its verdict after just over two hours of deliberation.
Barnett’s wife Tammy Newburn was in the room for the verdict, as well the mother of Ashli Babbit, who was shot and killed in the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Barnett said he plans to return to Arkansas to spend time with his family and dogs before his sentencing on May 3.