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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Chris Stein in Washington and agency

US jury convicts man pictured with feet on Pelosi’s desk during Capitol attack

Richard Barnett, a supporter of  Trump, sits inside the then office of Nancy Pelosi on 6 January.
Richard Barnett, a supporter of Trump, sits inside the then office of Nancy Pelosi on 6 January. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A jury has convicted the man who invaded the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 with a mob of extremist Donald Trump supporters and was pictured with his foot up on a desk in then House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Richard Barnett, from Gravette, Arkansas, was found guilty on all counts after the jury deliberated for about two hours on Monday, including felony obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder and theft of government property after he took an envelope from Pelosi’s desk.

Barnett became infamous after pictures and video circulated of him lounging at a desk in Pelosi’s office during the riots.

He spoke to a New York Times reporter shortly after storming Congress, where thin security was breached as hundreds charged the building following a rally where outgoing president Donald Trump encouraged the crowd to go to the Capitol in an attempt to overturn his election defeat to Joe Biden.

Barnett recounted taking the envelope.

“I didn’t steal it,” Barnett told the reporter. “I put a quarter [25c] on her desk, even though she ain’t fucking worth it, and I left her a note on her desk that says, ‘Nancy, Bigo [his nickname] was here, you bitch.’” He was arrested two days later.

Barnett testified in his own defense and directly addressed the jury, though evidently failing to persuade them of his innocence. He had outbursts in court, at one point shouting “it’s not fair” but was silent upon the announcement of the verdict on Monday.

US district judge Christopher Cooper is scheduled to sentence Barnett on 3 May. The judge agreed to let him remain free on certain conditions until his sentencing.

In another case, Jacob Therres, 25, of Fallston, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the felony charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, using a dangerous weapon. He was arrested last November.

Court documents declared that among multiple assaults on law enforcement officers on 6 January 2021, he sprayed chemicals and threw a long, heavy plank at a line of police officers outside the Capitol and the wood struck an officer’s head. Therres will be sentenced on 24 April.

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