Capitol mob member who lounged at Nancy Pelosi's desk is arrested
A man photographed lounging with his foot on the desk in House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in Washington as part of a pro-Trump mob that breached security and rampaged through the US Capitol was arrested on Friday.
Richard Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, was taken into custody in that state and, along with the West Virginia state representative Derrick Evans, who was also arrested, faces federal charges stemming from the siege of the Capitol on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said.
Barnett was arrested on federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property, according to a Department of Justice official, NBC reported.
In addition, the acting US attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, announced that the FBI would team up with Washington DC’s metropolitan police department to investigate jointly the death of the Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, a military veteran from New Jersey.
He died from injuries sustained while defending the Capitol, where he was reportedly hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.
The FBI has issued appeals for the public’s help in identifying those who took part in the riot, who face arrest and court.
“Just because you’ve left the DC region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” said Steven D’Antuono, the FBI Washington field office’s assistant director in charge, at a telephone news briefing on Friday.
Barnett spoke to a New York Times reporter shortly after storming Congress, where thin security was breached on Wednesday afternoon as hundreds charged the building after attending a rally where Donald Trump encouraged the group to go to the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election that he lost to Joe Biden.
Barnett recounted stealing an envelope from the Democratic House speaker’s desk.
“I didn’t steal it,” Barnett told the reporter. “I put a quarter [25c] on her desk, even though she ain’t fucking worth it, and I left her a note on her desk that says, ‘Nancy, Bigo [his nickname] was here, you bitch.’”
Barnett leads a pro-gun rights group in Arkansas and according to the Washington Post had identified as a white nationalist in a Facebook post days before the riot took place.
Derrick Evans, a newly elected Republican member of the West Virginia house of delegates, part of the state legislature, was taken into federal custody, with a reporter for the local NBC affiliate WSAZ sharing a video of the event.
On Wednesday, Evans reportedly filmed himself storming the Capitol, shouting: “We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!”
At 2:25 p.m. on Jan. 5, almost exactly 24 hours before the Capitol riots began, Steve Bannon posted a Facebook update: “TAKE ACTION. THEY ARE TRYING TO STEAL THE ELECTION,” the former senior White House adviser urged his followers in a Facebook group he ran called “Own Your Vote.”
The lawyer for the “QAnon shaman” who was part of the deadly siege of the Capitol last week publicly petitioned President Donald Trump on Thursday to pardon his client.
Federal prosecutors have offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege of the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters, saying in a court filing that rioters intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials”. Prosecutors offered that view in a filing asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of the vice-president, Mike Pence, in the chamber of the US Senate.
More than 20,000 members of the National Guard could be stationed throughout Washington D.C. after federal officials authorized a 5,000 member increase, the city’s police chief said Wednesday. "I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia,” acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said at a news conference. Contee cautioned that the final headcount is still under deliberation and will be determined in conjunction with the Secret Service.