Man who rested feet on Pelosi office desk on Jan. 6 sentenced to over 4 years in prison

ByCasey Gannon, CNNWire
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Election lies spawn deadly attack on US Capitol
Ample evidence has emerged over what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The man who was infamously photographed with his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was sentenced Wednesday to four and a half years in prison.

Richard Barnett, also known as "Bigo," was convicted by a jury in January of eight charges, including civil disorder. He faced up to 20 years in prison for the top charge of obstructing an official proceeding.

"For better or for worse, you've become one of the faces of January 6, and I think you've enjoyed that," District Judge Christopher Cooper said during sentencing.

According to court documents, on January 6, Barnett spent 10 minutes in Pelosi's office and only left when he was sprayed with chemical irritant. During that time, he put his feet up on the Pelosi's desk and wrote a note to Pelosi, calling her a "b**ch."

Richard Barnett sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Court documents also state that Barnett had a stun gun in his pants while in the speaker's office and that he took an envelope from the office. Prosecutors said he left the Capitol showing the envelope to other rioters like it was a "trophy."

"I shudder to think what would have happened if those staffers were there, or God forbid, the Speaker," Cooper said.

Prosecutors also alleged that Barnett made his way to the Capitol Rotunda and joined a front line of rioters that were pushing against law enforcement officers.

Barnett has not shown remorse for his actions on January 6, which impacted his sentence. "The defendant continues to say that his conduct was similar of a 4-year-old temper tantrum," prosecutor Alison Prout said.

Barnett addressed the court during sentencing, stating that he will appeal his case.

"They want me to be remorseful for things I did not do. I'm obviously appealing this case," Barnett said.

Barnett has repeatedly stated that he has been treated unfairly by the legal system, and that he will only apologize for actions he believes he committed during the riot.

"I was angry that day, I'll admit I was angry, and I apologize for that."

Barnett did not comment on the sentencing. His wife was seen crying as the couple exited the courtroom.

During his 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.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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