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Man who breached Pelosi's office in Capitol riot to be released from jail pending trial

The man has been in jail since January and will now be released while he awaits his trial, facing up to six years in prison.

Updated: April 28, 2021 - 2:10pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


The man who welcomed himself into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will be released from jail and await further court proceedings from his home.

A Washington, D.C. District judge on Tuesday deemed Richard Barnett, 60, not dangerous enough to be locked up any longer and ordered his release pending trial.

Just recently, a federal appeals court ruling has made it more difficult for the Justice Department to keep defendants jailed unless they are accused of assault or planning an attack. 

Barnett was arrested two days after the insurrection in home state of Arkansas and was extradited to the D.C. District Court, which put him behind bars pending trial.

He has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal counts, and prosecutors say he could face up to six years or more in prison if convicted.

"Consider this a test," Judge Christopher "Casey" told Barnett about his release, which will be electronically monitored, according to CNN.

Cooper also cited as concerns Barnett's his outlandish behavior during the riot – which would include him putting his feet on Pelosi's desk – and his possible adherence to QAnon conspiracy theories.

Barnett's attorney Joseph D. McBride, appeared to suggest the possibility of a plea deal.

"As of now, we are awaiting further discovery from the government, and we are looking to proceed to trial," McBride said. "Should an acceptable offer materialize between now and then, then we will give it due and proper consideration."