US troublemaker who set foot on Nancy Pelosi’s desk gets 4.5 years in prison

US troublemaker who set foot on Nancy Pelosi’s desk gets 4.5 years in prison
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US troublemaker who set foot on Nancy Pelosi's desk gets 4.5 years in prison

The photo became one of the iconic images of the January 6, 2021 insurrection.


An Arkansas man pictured with his feet up on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office after joining the mob that stormed the US Capitol in 2021, was sentenced Wednesday to four and a half years in prison.

Richard Barnett, 63, was reclining in a chair with his boots propped up on a desk in the Democratic politician’s office when an AFP photographer snapped a photo of him.

The photo became one of the iconic images of the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

Barnett had joined supporters of then-President Donald Trump, who stormed Congress to shut down the legislature as it met to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.

A Washington jury convicted Barnett in January of eight counts, including obstructing congressional certification of elections, trespassing on Capitol Hill and disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon: an electrical stun device disguised as a baton.

Prosecutors had asked Judge Christopher Cooper for a seven-year prison sentence.

In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Barnett showed no remorse and had “sought to capitalize on his notoriety and criminal conduct” by selling “autographed photos of himself in the Speaker’s office.”

Barnett’s defense attorney had asked the judge to impose a 12-month sentence.

Barnett, described in court documents as a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory alleging a global liberal plot to kidnap children, defended his actions as an exercise of his constitutional right to protest.

But while he was in Pelosi’s office, he wrote her a crude message.

“I left him a note on his desk that says ‘Nancy, Bigo was here, bitch,'” he told reporters, using his nickname.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested for taking part in what prosecutors called an insurrection to keep Trump in the White House after his electoral defeat.

Most face charges of trespassing or causing property damage, but some 350 have been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers or resisting arrest and more than 50 with felony conspiracy.

Oath Keepers founder to be sentenced

Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia Oath Keepers, was convicted on the rarely used charge of seditious conspiracy in November and will be sentenced on Thursday.

Prosecutors have sought a 25-year sentence for Rhodes, 57, a Yale-educated former soldier.

During a nearly two-week trial in Washington, prosecutors said Rhodes and other members of the Oath Keepers “invented a plan for armed rebellion … conspiring to forcibly oppose the United States government.”

The Oath Keepers were accused of storing weapons in a hotel near Washington and joining the crowd that stormed the Capitol in an attempt to block congressional certification of Biden’s election victory.

Prosecutors showed the jury text messages between Rhodes and his supporters calling for action if Trump himself failed to act.

Rhodes did not personally enter the Capitol but led his supporters like a battlefield general, prosecutors said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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