Rioter pictured sitting in Pelosi’s office arrested
Richard Barnett has been arrested on federal charges that include violent entry and theft of public property for his role in the Capitol Hill occupation.
The Trump supporter who was pictured sitting at the desk of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the riots in the Capitol on Wednesday has been arrested. The photograph quickly circulated on social media and, having made no attempt to hide his identity, Richard Barnett has now been identified by law enforcement.
The 60-year-old, who hails from Gravette, Arkansas, has been arrested by officers in his home state, where he has been hit with federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property. He is currently being held in Washington County Dention Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas. He is one of many members of the pro-Trump mob who stormed the Houses of Congress to have been arrested in recent days.
No attempt made to hide his identity
One of the most striking things about the picture of Barnett was his casual disposition while breaking federal law. Having been a part of the violent crowd who scaled the walls of the Capitol Hill buildings, smashed through windows and forced elected officials from the chambers, Barnett seemed oblivious of the consequences of his actions.
The picture shows him sitting behind Speaker Pelosi's desk after forced his way into her office, with his boots on Congressional paperwork and an American flag on the table beside him. Not only that, but Barnett later posed for photographs with a letter addressed to the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which he had snatched as a memento.
On Thursday a video began to circulate on Twitter of Barnett boasting of his exploits to fellow protesters in the Capitol, freely admitting that he had taken the letter from Pelosi’s office. His failure to grasp the seriousness of his actions may stem from a sense of entitlement that he was enacting the wishes of President Donald Trump. Earlier that day Trump had rallied his supporters at the White House, telling them to march on Congress and to “fight” for his cause.
Barnett’s flagrant attitude was mirrored in many who broke into Congress on Wednesday with few making any attempt to hide their identity. Another picture that went viral featured a Trump supporter gleefully smiling at the camera while holding a Congressional lectern. The man, now named as Adam Johnson, 36, has now been arrested and is being held on federal warrant.
Law enforcement start to round up Capitol Hill perpetrators
After a day of chaos in Congress law enforcement has now begun to arrest those involved in the violent scenes. One of the most high-profile members of the mob that stormed Congress was former Republican Delegate for West Virginia Derrick Evans, who was taken into custody and charged on Friday. Evans even went so far as to post a video online of him entering the building, but later claimed that he was doing so as an independent journalist. Despite that, Evans has since resigned.
Fellow Republican lawmakers Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastirano and Michigan State Representative Matt Maddock were both involved in the march that turned violent, but deny entering the Capitol Hill buildings. However both have been found to have helped arrange buses for people in their states to attend to protest. New legislation passed on Friday requires state authorities to investigate any resident involved in the events on Wednesday, which would be grounds for removal from office for any elected official.