Jan. 6 rioter who put his feet on desk in Pelosi office sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.
Barnett was convicted in January on eight charges
stemming from the Capitol attack, including theft of government property and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; in addition to the stun device, Barnett armed himself with a ten-pound steel pole, prosecutors said.
Barnett became a widely known symbol of the riot when he was photographed reclining in a chair in Pelosi’s office, with his feet propped up, and what the government referred to as a “stun device” tucked in his pants. Before he left Pelosi’s office, Barnett took an envelope that he later displayed for cameras outside the Capitol.
He also acknowledged leaving what he later called a “nasty note” for Pelosi. It read, “Nancy, Bigo was here,” and ended with a sexist expletive to refer to Pelosi.
Barnett showed regret for what he did before taking the witness stand in his personal defense. “I shouldn’t have put my feet on the desk,” Barnett told jurors. “At the time I thought it was funny,” he said, but after reflection, it seems “crass.”
But after being convicted,
he claimed that he was the target of political persecution and that the jury that rendered the verdict was not comprised of my peers.
Prosecutors pushed back on Barnett’s claims that he’d been unintentionally swept up by the crowd during the Capitol riot and said in court filings that the evidence was clear that Barnett had come to Washington D.C. that day looking for a fight.
“Barnett was aware of the significance of January 6, 2021. He believed that the United States would be taken over by communists if President-Elect Biden became president and was prepared to do ‘whatever it takes,’ (as he said on social media), including occupying the Capitol, to prevent that from happening,” their filing said.
“He prepared for that violence by arming himself with a stun device and a ten-pound steel pole, both capable of inflicting serious bodily injury. He went to Washington D.C. after that with those weapons,” the filing continued, noting that he only left the Capitol after he was hit by chemical spray – and then bragged about his actions to reporters.
After his arrest, “Barnett sought to profit from his notoriety and criminal conduct,” including by selling autographed pictures of himself in Pelosi’s office, prosecutors said. They added that he’s continued tweeting “disinformation” and conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 attack since his conviction.
They said those statements show “he is without remorse and would readily engage in similar conduct in the future.”