WASHINGTON (AP) — An Arkansas person testified Thursday that he was “going with the flow” when he propped up his ft on a desk in then-Household Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s business office, posing for images that produced him a single of the most unforgettable figures from the U.S. Capitol riot two many years in the past.
On the witness stand at his trial on riot-similar charges, Richard “Bigo” Barnett mentioned he was searching for a rest room inside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he unwittingly entered Pelosi’s workplace and encountered two news photographers. He explained a person of the photographers explained to him to “act natural,” so he lounged again in a chair and flung his legs onto the desk.
“Did it dawn on you that what you ended up doing could induce some issues?” defense lawyer Joseph McBride asked Barnett.
“I was just in the instant,” Barnett replied. “I’m just sort of heading with the circulation at this place.”
Prosecutor Michael Gordon confirmed an online submit in which Barnett declared any person who “does not support the Constitution” to be his enemy. Asked how perfectly he realized the doc himself, Barnett at some point acknowledged that he knew the Initially and Second Amendments properly, but had very little knowledge of other folks.
Barnett, a retired firefighter from Gravette, Arkansas, is a person of far more than 900 people billed with federal crimes for their conduct at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Just about 500 of them have pleaded responsible. Barnett is a person of a number of dozen Capitol riot defendants whose case has long gone to demo.
Barnett’s trial played out in the exact same courthouse as two other substantial-profile trials stemming from the riot. A jury started deliberating in the seditious conspiracy case from a 2nd group of associates of the significantly-suitable Oath Keepers. In the meantime, a documentary filmmaker testified in the seditious conspiracy circumstance from previous Very pleased Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and 4 associates.
In Barnett’s case, prosecutors explained the 62-yr-old experienced a stun gun tucked into his trousers when he stormed the Capitol, invaded Pelosi’s business office and posed for a photograph that grew to become 1 of the attack’s best-known images. He also took a piece of her mail and left driving a be aware that stated, “Nancy, Bigo was below,” prosecutors mentioned. Barnett punctuated the message with a sexist expletive.
Story carries on
Right before leaving Capitol grounds, Barnett made use of a bullhorn to give a speech to the crowd, shouting, “We took back again our residence, and I took Nancy Pelosi’s workplace!” according to prosecutors.
Barnett, testifying close to the finish of his trial, reported he regrets coming to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” rally wherever then-President Donald Trump dealt with a group of supporters.
“Two decades of dropped lifetime. Distress for my relatives,” he reported.
He also expressed regret for applying vulgar language in his be aware to Pelosi.
“I likely shouldn’t have set my feet on the desk,” Barnett explained.
Requested by Gordon regardless of whether he regretted moving into the Capitol, Barnett insisted he was swept alongside with the crowd.
“I do not regret getting pushed in,” he said.
A grand jury indicted Barnett on eight costs, which include felony counts of civil ailment and obstruction of an formal continuing. He also faces a demand of coming into and remaining in limited constructing or grounds with a deadly or unsafe weapon — the stun gun with spikes concealed within a collapsible walking stick.
In opening statements for the trial, a prosecutor reported Tuesday that Barnett planned the journey for months and came ready for violence.
“The defendant violated that area,” prosecutor Alison Prout said.
McBride instructed jurors on Wednesday that Barnett was just a “crazy male from Arkansas” who did not hurt any one on Jan. 6 and could not have harmed any person with the stun gun gadget mainly because it was broken that day.
“We’re not asking you to approve of his steps,” McBride mentioned, calling it “the most famous trespass circumstance of all time.”
Barnett said the crowd of Trump supporters leaving the rally was in a jovial mood as they approached the Capitol. He said he turned indignant soon after he listened to a loud bang and noticed what appeared to be law enforcement officers firing tear fuel at the group.
“It flipped my planet upside down,” Barnett reported, contacting it his to start with practical experience with police brutality just after a long time of becoming a firefighter. “I went in comprehensive crisis method.”
Barnett reported movies exhibit that the group pushed him into the Capitol as the approached an entrance, leading to him to briefly tumble to his knees as he crossed the threshold.
“We have no alternative!” he shouted repeatedly on the video as he entered the Capitol.
Barnett explained he did not realize he experienced wandered into Pelosi’s place of work until eventually 1 of the photographers questioned him if he knew the place he was and he spotted empty envelopes with Pelosi’s name on them,
Immediately after police ordered him and other folks to go away Pelosi’s business, Barnett recognized he had still left his American flag guiding. Entire body camera movie captured Barnett shouting at a police officer in the Rotunda for assistance in retrieving the flag.
Prosecutors said Barnett had a history of arming himself at political demonstrations ahead of the Jan. 6 assault. In July 2020, they stated, a 911 caller described that a gentleman matching Barnett’s description experienced pointed a rifle at her for the duration of a “Back the Blue” rally.
“Law enforcement ultimately closed the investigation as unfounded because of to unresolved obvious discrepancies in the evidence,” prosecutors wrote.
In November 2020, police were named to a “Save the Children” rally when a caller stated Barnett was carrying a gun at the protest and acting suspiciously.