WASHINGTON (AP) — After a brief jury deliberation, an Arkansas man who was photographed during the Jan. 6 riot with his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was found guilty on all counts Monday.
Richard Barnett was charged with eight counts stemming from the 2021 insurgency, including theft of government property. He repeatedly stated in court last week that he regretted what happened at the Capitol that day, but that his actions were not illegal.
“This is not a jury of my peers,” Barnett told reporters outside the courthouse. I disagree with the decision, but I appreciate the process, and we will undoubtedly appeal.”
Barnett’s attorney, Joseph McBride, agreed with his client, saying that Washington’s political makeup differs from the rest of the country, and that this, combined with the Jan. 6 media coverage, “eviscerated any chance of a fair trial.”
Barnett is due to be sentenced on May 3.
When he was photographed reclining in a chair in the speaker’s office, with his feet propped up and what the government referred to as a “stun device” tucked in his pants, Barnett became a widely known symbol of the riot. Barnett took an envelope from Pelosi’s office before leaving, which he later displayed for cameras outside the Capitol.
Before the case was handed over to the jury on Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon pored over Barnett’s version of Jan. 6 and poked holes in his testimony, visibly enraged Barnett.
Barnett, who said Thursday that if Pelosi, D-Calif., were in court, he would apologise to her, admitted during cross-examination that when a police officer told him he needed to leave her office, he replied, “You need to give up communism.”
Barnett also admitted to telling a Capitol officer, “We’re in a war. You must choose a side. Don’t be on the wrong side or you’ll get hurt.”
In defending his actions, Barnett stated that he did not believe he had broken the law on January 6.
“I made some mistakes that I regret, but I don’t believe I broke the law,” Barnett said on Friday. “I feel like an f——— idiot right now.”
Asked Monday whether the decision to testify may have backfired given that the jury needed only a few hours to convict Barnett on all counts, McBride said: “We thought that the decision to testify was unequivocally the right one.
“He had a story to tell,” McBride explained. “People wanted to know why he came here, what his intentions were, and what he did while he was here. The man got up there and told the truth; it didn’t work out for him, but we have no regrets about that decision.”
The FBI and Justice Department’s investigation into the Capitol attack has resulted in 900 arrests and nearly 500 guilty pleas two years after the riot.