Man who rested feet on desk in Pelosi’s office on Jan. 6 found guilty on 8 counts
By Hannah Rabinowitz and Holmes Lybrand, CNN
An Arkansas man who was infamously photographed putting his feet on a desk inside then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the January 6, 2021, insurrection was found guilty on eight counts by a Washington, DC, jury Monday.
Richard Barnett, also known as “Bigo,” was charged with eight federal crimes relating to his actions at the US Capitol that day, including entering and remaining in a restricted area with a deadly or dangerous weapon and obstructing an official proceeding.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Richard Barnett was found guilty on eight counts by a Washington, DC, jury on Monday. Trump supporter Barnett is pictured here inside Nancy Pelosi's office at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021.
During the trial, Barnett testified he was pushed into the Capitol during the riot and was looking for a place to use the restroom inside the building, admiring all the artwork along the way.
“I wasn’t part of that protest, I was pushed in,” Barnett said during his testimony, where he described himself as “hyper.”
According to court documents, Barnett had a stun gun tucked in his pants when he was inside Pelosi’s office. Barnett said during the trial that he believed it no longer worked because it was washed in the shower.
The first hearing, aired in prime time and watched by more than 20 million viewers, set the stage for the next seven.
It laid out the conclusion that the panel would come back to in every hearing: that Trump conspired to overturn his own defeat, taking actions that sparked the violent insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters beat police and broke through windows and doors to interrupt the certification of Biden’s victory.
“January 6th was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6th, to overthrow the government,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. “The violence was no accident. It represents seeing Trump’s last stand, most desperate chance to halt the transfer of power.”
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards (pictured), one of two witnesses at the first hearing, described what she saw outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 as a “war scene.” As some Republicans, including Trump, have tried to play down the violence of the insurrection, calling it “peaceful,” Edwards recalled the brutality she experienced on the front lines. She suffered a traumatic head injury that day as some of the first protesters barreled through the flimsy bike rack barriers that she and other officers were trying to hold.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Edwards testified. “There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing up. … It was carnage. It was chaos.”
The committee has used clips of its interview with former Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured) in almost every hearing, showing the public over and over his definitive statements that the election was not stolen by Biden — and Barr's description of Trump’s resistance as he told the president the truth.
At the second hearing, the committee showed a clip of Barr recalling how he told Trump to his face that the Justice Department had found no evidence of the widespread voter fraud that Trump was claiming. Barr said he thought Trump had become “detached from reality” if he really believed his own theories and said there was “never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.”
“And my opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud and I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that,” Barr said.
One question going into the hearings was what Trump and Vice President Mike Pence talked about in a phone call the morning of Jan. 6. The conversation came after Trump had pressured his vice president for weeks to try and somehow object or delay as he presided over Biden’s certification. Pence firmly resisted and would gavel down Trump's defeat — and his own — in the early hours of Jan. 7, after rioters had been cleared from the Capitol.
While only Trump and Pence were on the Jan. 6 call, White House aides filled in some details at the committee’s third hearing by recounting what they heard Trump say on his end of the line.
“Wimp is the word I remember,” said former Trump aide Nicholas Luna. “You’re not tough enough,” recalled Keith Kellogg, Pence’s national security adviser. “It became heated” after starting out in a calmer tone, said White House lawyer Eric Herschmann.
“It was a different tone than I’d heard him take with the vice president before,” said Ivanka Trump.
Encouraged by Trump’s tweet, after the attack had started, that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” rioters at the Capitol singled out the vice president. Many chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” as they moved through the building. Pence evacuated the Senate just minutes before the chamber was breached, and later was rushed to safety as rioters were just 40 feet away.
Greg Jacob, the president’s lawyer, testified at the third hearing and said he had not known they were that close.
Jacob said Secret Service agents wanted them to leave the building but Pence refused to get in the car. “The vice president didn’t want to take any chance” that the world would see him leaving the Capitol, Jacob said.
At the committee’s fourth hearing, state officials detailed the extraordinary pressure the president put on them to overturn their states’ legitimate and certified results. Rusty Bowers (pictured), Arizona’s House speaker, told the committee how Trump asked him directly to appoint alternate electors, falsely stating that he had won the state of Arizona and not Biden.
Bowers detailed additional calls with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. “I will not do it,” Bowers told him, adding: “You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath.”
Georgia election workers Wandrea “Shaye” Moss (left) and her mother, Ruby Freeman, also testified in the fourth hearing, describing constant threats after Trump and his allies spread false rumors that they introduced suitcases of illegal ballots and committed other acts of election fraud. The Justice Department debunked those claims.
The two women said they had their lives upended by Trump’s false claims and his efforts to go after them personally. Through tears, Moss told lawmakers that she no longer leaves her house.
In videotaped testimony, Freeman said there is “nowhere I feel safe” after the harassment she experienced.
When his efforts to overturn his defeat failed in the courts and in the states, Trump turned his focus to the leadership of the Justice Department.
Richard Donoghue (right), the acting No. 2 at the time, testified about his resistance to entreaties by another department official, Jeffrey Clark, who was circulating a draft letter recommending that battleground states reconsider the election results. Trump at one point floated replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (center) with Clark, but backed down after Donoghue and others threatened to resign.
“For the department to insert itself into the political process this way, I think would have had grave consequences for the country,” Donoghue testified. “It may very well have spiraled us into a constitutional crisis.”
In a surprise sixth hearing, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson (pictured) recounted some of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, including his dismissive response when told that some in the crowd waiting for him to speak outside the White House were armed.
“I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘I don’t effing care that they have weapons,’” Hutchinson said. “'They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effin’ mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.'”
Upset that the crowd didn’t appear larger, Trump told his aides to take the metal-detecting magnetometers away. In the coming hours, he would step on the stage and tell them to “fight like hell.”
Hutchinson also described Trump’s anger after security officials told him he couldn’t go to the Capitol with his supporters after he had told them he would. She said she was told that the president even grabbed the steering wheel in the presidential SUV when he was told he couldn’t go.
For the president to have visited the Capitol during Biden’s certification, and as his supporters descended on the building, would have been unprecedented.
At its seventh hearing, the committee painstakingly reconstructed a Dec. 18 meeting at the White House where outside advisers to Trump pushing election fraud claims clashed with White House lawyers and others who were telling him to give up the fight.
The six-hour meeting featured profanity, screaming and threats of fisticuffs, according to the participants, as Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and others threw out conspiracy theories, including that the Democrats were working with Venezuelans and that voting machines were hacked. Pat Cipollone (pictured), the top White House lawyer, testified that he kept asking for evidence, to no avail.
Hours later, at 1:42 a.m., Trump sent a tweet urging supporters to come for a “big protest” on Jan. 6: “Will be wild,” Trump promised.
The final hearing focused on what Trump was doing for 187 minutes that afternoon, between his speech at the rally and when he finally released a video telling the rioters to go home at 4:17 p.m.
They showed that Trump was sitting at a dining room table near the Oval Office, watching Fox News coverage of the violence. But he made no calls for help — not to the Defense Department, the Homeland Security Department or the attorney general — even as his aides repeatedly told him to call it off.
In the video released at 4:17 p.m., as some of the worst of the fighting was still happening down the street, Trump told rioters to go home but said they were “very special.”
The committee showed never-before-seen outtakes of a speech Trump released on Jan. 7 in which he condemned the violence and promised an orderly transition of power. But he bristled at one line in the prepared script, telling his daughter Ivanka Trump and others in the room, “I don’t want to say the election is over.”
Jose Luis Magana
Rioters scale a wall at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Supporters loyal to then-President Donald Trump attend a rally on the Ellipse near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Trump supporters participate in a rally Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Then-President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to speak at a rally in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People listen as then-President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Supporters of then-President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A supporter of then-President Donald Trump is injured during clashes with police at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Jose Luis Magana
A rioter pours water on herself at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A Trump supporter holds a Bible as he gathers with others outside the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A demonstrator supporting then-President Donald Trump, is sprayed by police, Jan. 6, 2021, during a day of rioting at the Capitol.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Rioters try to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back rioters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Rioters gather outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Manuel Balce Ceneta
Jacob Anthony Chansley, center, with other insurrectionists who supported then-President Donald Trump, are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber in the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Chansley, was among the first group of insurrectionists who entered the hallway outside the Senate chamber. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
U.S. Capitol Police hold rioters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
J. Scott Applewhite
Lawmakers evacuate the floor as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite
Police with guns drawn watch as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Congressmen shelter in the House gallery as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Members of Congress wear emergency gas masks as they are evacuated from the House gallery as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
J. Scott Applewhite
The House gallery is empty after it was evacuated as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, after rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Members of the DC National Guard surround the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
J. Scott Applewhite
Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., read the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night, at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)
A flag hangs between broken windows after then-President Donald Trump supporters tried to break through police barriers outside the U.S. Capitol, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A flag that reads "Treason" is visible on the ground in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, after rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
An ATF police officer cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, after rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Fencing is placed around the exterior of the Capitol grounds, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 in Washington. The House and Senate certified the Democrat's electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
On January 6, Barnett was recorded saying he didn’t steal an envelope he had taken from inside the Capitol, adding that he wrote Pelosi a note calling her a “b***h,” according to court documents.
“I did not steal it,” Barnett said in the video. “I bled on it because they were macing me and I couldn’t f**king see so I figured I am in her office. I got blood on her office. I put a quarter on her desk even though she ain’t f**king worth it. And I left her a note on her desk that says ‘Nancy, Bigo was here, you b***h.'”