Richard Barnett, the man who allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, posed for pictures at her desk and stole her mail has been charged with three federal counts and was arrested Friday morning in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to NBC News, Barnett is facing charges of entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and stealing public property.
Law enforcement officials announced Friday that Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, was taken into custody in his home state. Further details were not immediately available. Barnett's alleged crimes took place amid a violent pro-Trump riot that breached the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, leaving five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.
The chaos converged on Capitol Hill as congressional lawmakers convened to certify the Electoral College votes cast for President-elect Joe Biden, and was preceded by a rally led by President Donald Trump, who urged his supporters to march on the Capitol in attempt to reverse the election results, which he has repeatedly claimed, falsely, were a result of widespread voted fraud.
As Barnett's photo at Pelosi's desk was splashed across social media, a New York Times reporter tweeted that he had spoken with the Arkansas man, who boasted that he took a personalized envelope from Pelosi's desk. Barnett denied stealing the envelope, saying, "I left a quarter on her desk."
That’s Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 60, from Gravette, Ak., showing off the personalized envelope he took from Speaker Pelosi’s office. He insisted he didn’t steal it — “I left a quarter on her desk.” pic.twitter.com/aST7MCoRwP— Matthew Rosenberg (@AllMattNYT) January 6, 2021
Barnett also claimed he knocked politely on the door to Pelosi's office, but was pushed inside by other rioters. "I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk and scratched my balls," Barnett told the reporter, using an expletive to refer to the House Speaker. "I'll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the D.C. jail," he added.
The mayor of Gravette, Arkansas spoke out against the resident of his city, telling local news station KNWA that Barnett does not represent the people of Gravette. " It's a shame something like this is what puts you in the public eye," Mayor Kurt Maddox told the station. "This is not the city of Gravette. This one person is not who Gravette is and not who the people are."
Pelosi and other lawmakers have called for Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment amid his final days in office, threatening to move forward with a second impeachment for the outgoing president if Vice President Mike Pence doesn't agree to do his part in their initial plan.