January 9, 2021
The man who was photographed getting comfortable in Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office as pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has been arrested, federal law enforcement officials confirmed.
According to the Department of Justice, the man, identified as 60-year-old Richard Barnett of Gravette, Arkansas, was arrested in his home state Friday and he was charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property, or records.”
If convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of one year in prison. He is expected to make his initial appearance in court on Friday before ultimately being extradited to Washington, D.C.
“The shocking images of Mr. Barnett with his boots up on a desk in the Speaker of the House’s office on Wednesday was repulsive,” said acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “Those who are proven to have committed criminal acts during the storming of the Capitol will face justice.”
A photograph of Barnett kicking his boot up on Pelosi’s desk amid the uproar quickly circulated on social media Wednesday.
@kwelkernbc A supporter of President Trump sits inside Speaker Pelosi’s office. https://t.co/xyhj0Lziro
— NBC News (@NBC News)1609965158.0
After exiting the Capitol, Barnett, who apparently goes by the nickname “Bigo,” was not shy about his whereabouts during the riot. He identified himself and gave an interview to a New York Times reporter, showing off the personalized letter he took from the Speaker’s office.
He insisted that he didn’t steal it, saying he “left a quarter on her desk.”
In addition to the quarter, Barnett said he left a note on her desk as well, saying, “Bigo was here, you b***h.”
(Content Warning: Video contains vulgar language).
Here’s Mr. Barnett, who goes by “Bigo,” telling the story in his own words https://t.co/oSyKiCDXgy
— Matthew Rosenberg (@Matthew Rosenberg)1609975952.0
“This case is just one in a number that demonstrate the brazen acts that were committed at the Capitol on Wednesday,” added Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. “My Office is committed to prosecuting all individuals who participated in these abhorrent acts to the fullest extent of the law.”
On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that it was planning to file charges against some individuals who participated in the Capitol breach and was accepting tips and digital media to help identify perpetrators.