Trial starts for man who put his feet on Pelosi's desk during Jan. 6 riot

Barnett, a former firefighter, turned himself in to the FBI two days after the Capitol riot.

Published: January 11, 2023 7:43am

Updated: January 11, 2023 8:47am

The Arkansas man facing federal charge in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot – and who became infamous for having propped up his feet on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk – is now on trial in a federal court in Washington, D.C.

The case against Richard "Bigo" Barnett began Tuesday with opening arguments in which prosecutors said the defendant also took a piece of Pelosi's mail and left behind a note.

Barnett, 61, came "prepared for violence," prosecutor Alison Prout also said, according to The Associated Press.

Officials alleged that Barnett planned for weeks to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the riot.

Barnett also allegedly tucked a stun gun into his pants when he entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, then went into Pelosi's office and posed for the photo.

Barnett, a former firefighter, turned himself in to the FBI at a Bentonville, Arkansas, sheriff's office on Jan. 8, 2021. He told authorities that he was pushed into the Capitol by a crowd.

"Everything he did inside was grounded in political protest ... it was all protest, protest, protest," his defense attorneys said.

They also say the defendant went into Pelosi's office to find a bathroom after being swept into the building, his lawyers said.

The charges Barnett faces include obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and theft of government property, among other counts.

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