Capitol rioter who put feet on Pelosi desk convicted

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

WASHINGTON: The man photographed with his feet on a desk in House speaker Nancy Pelosi´s office after joining the mob that stormed the US Capitol in 2021 was convicted on Monday of several crimes.

Richard Barnett, 62, leaned back comfortably in a chair and propped up his boots on the desk in the office of the powerful politician as an AFP photographer snapped pictures on January 6, 2021.

He had joined supporters of then-president Donald Trump crashing though the Capitol´s offices and halls to shut down the legislature as it convened to certify Joe Biden as the next president.

A Washington court convicted Barnett on eight counts including obstructing Congress´s certification of the election, illegally entering the Capitol and disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon, the latter referring to an electric stun weapon disguised as a walking stick.

He faces up to 20 years in prison on the heftiest charge, obstructing an official government proceeding. Barnett, described in court filings as a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory alleging a global liberal plot to kidnap children, had defended his actions as an exercise of his constitutional right to protest.

But while in Pelosi´s office he wrote a crude message to her and then took with him an envelop she had signed. After he left the room he told media that he had bled on the desk.

“I put a quarter on her desk even though she ain´t worth it,” he said, according to a court filing. “And I left her a note on her desk that says ´Nancy, Bigo was here, you Bitch,´” he said, using his nickname.