Kate Anderson on January 23, 2023
A jury convicted Richard Barnett, a Jan. 6 rioter that posed for photos in Nancy Pelosi’s office, on all eight charges Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Barnett, who also goes by the name “Bigo” attended former President Donald Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, 2021, where he later forcefully entered the U.S. Capitol Building, according to the WSJ. The jury deliberated for several hours before announcing that they had reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all counts.
Barnett could be given up to 20 years in prison for the charge of “obstructing an official proceeding” and will face sentencing in May, according to CNN. He is currently wearing a GPS ankle monitor and remains at home despite prosecutors arguing that his house arrest privileges should be revoked.
Barnett’s attorney, Joseph McBride, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the odds were “stacked against us” and that Barnett “truly had no chance.”
“Combine that with the January 6th Committee hearings, President Biden’s repeated condemnation of MAGA Republicans, and the political nature of this case, and it’s not hard to see why he was convicted in less than two hours,” McBride said. “The fact that Mr. Barnett was convicted of stealing an envelope that he bled on, then left compensation for, and ultimately returned says it all.”
The charges included “interfering with a police officer, obstructing an official proceeding and remaining in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon,” according to the WSJ. After entering the capitol, Barnett entered former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office and was photographed sitting in her chair, propping his feet up at her desk, with a stun device in his pocket that could shock someone with up to 950,000 volts.
Barnett also admitted to leaving a note for Pelosi, stating, “Nancy, Bigo was here you bitch,” according to the WSJ. Barnett was also filmed by police body cameras arguing with an officer and demanding that he be allowed to go back and get his flag.
During his trial, Barnett also admitted that he told an officer that the rioters were “in a war,” according to NBC News.
“We’re in a war,” Barnett stated to a Capitol police offer. “You need to pick a side. Don’t be on the wrong side or you’re going to get hurt.”
In a rare move, Barnett took the stand during his trial, leading to a four-hour cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon, according to the WSJ. Barnett said he regretted his participation in the events of Jan. 6 but argued that he was unaware that Congress was in the process of certifying the 2020 election when the riot took place, and, therefore, was not attempting to thwart an official proceeding.
McBride told the DCNF that Barnett’s legal team would be looking into appeal options.
“Our team fought like hell, “McBride stated. “We were relentless and creative and left no stone unturned in Mr. Barnett’s defense. We have multiple appellate issues that we will litigate, and litigate them we shall.”
Gordon did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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