Richard Barnett, 60, the man who was pictured with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s office desk, reportedly screamed at Judge Christopher R. Cooper during a virtual hearing after his case was postponed to May 4. The staunch Trump supporter yelled at the judge that it was not fair for him to remain in custody when others arrested for also breaching the Capitol on January 6 have regained their freedom.
“Everybody else who did things much worse is already home,” Barnett told the judge. “I’ve been here for a month, they’re going to set it for another month, and everybody else is getting out. The government keeps dragging this out and letting everybody else out. This has been a bunch of crap.”
Barnett was picked up by law enforcement nearly a week after he violated the Capitol in the company of hundreds of others and also assessed the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi where he took an envelope and even bled on her table. Originally from Arkansas, Barnett was charged with breaching restricted grounds, violent entry, theft of public property, and disorderly behavior among other federal charges.
Almost 300 people were arrested by federal agents after they breached the Capitol and many of them pleaded to President Trump to release them, but this did not happen when the former president left office. Many arrested people were however released, but Barnett is detained until his next appearance because Chief US District Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled that he is a flight risk based on the contention of prosecutors.
Barnett had told investigators during interviews that he went back to Arkansas and put up the location feature of his phone and also spent cash only after the Capitol invasion. He also confessed that he hid his guns before law enforcement arrived and cleaned out his home before it was searched. Investigators also found that he purchased a 950,000-volt stun gun before the Capitol attack and there was something like a stun gun at his waist while he sat in Pelosi’s office.
Barnett’s attorney, Joseph D. McBride, said his client’s tantrums during the virtual hearing were not directed at Judge Cooper and that he was simply frustrated at his pre-trial incarceration. McBride also said he did not brief Barnett properly on court proceedings because of the COVID-19 restrictions on in-person visits.
“Mr. Barnett’s frustration stems from the fact that he is incarcerated pre-trial, despite lacking any criminal history, being gainfully employed, respected in his community, and in a stable relationship for over 20 years,” McBride stated. “Normally, facts like these are more than enough for an individual to fight their case from the outside. The absence of our presence, in conjunction with Mr. Barnett’s inability to immediately understand the purpose of the forthcoming May 4th adjournment, is what he believed to be unfair.”