An Arkansas man testified Thursday that he was “going with the stream” when he propped up his ft on a desk in former U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s workplace, posing for pictures that made him probably the most memorable figures from the U.S. Capitol riot two years in the past.

On the witness stand at his trial on riot-related fees, Richard “Bigo” Barnett stated he was in search of a rest room contained in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he unwittingly entered Pelosi’s workplace and encountered two information photographers. He stated one of many photographers informed him to “act pure,” so he lounged again in a chair and flung his legs onto the desk.

“Did it daybreak on you that what you have been doing might trigger some hassle?” defence legal professional Joseph McBride requested Barnett.

“I used to be simply within the second,” Barnett replied. “I am simply sort of going with the stream at this level.”

Barnett, a retired firefighter from Gravette, Ark., is one in every of greater than 900 individuals charged with federal crimes for his or her conduct on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Almost 500 of them have pleaded responsible. Barnett is one in every of a number of dozen Capitol riot defendants whose case has gone to trial.

‘I took Nancy Pelosi’s workplace!’

Barnett, 62, had a stun gun tucked into his pants when he stormed the U.S. Capitol, invaded Pelosi’s workplace and posed for a photograph that grew to become one of many assault’s best-known photos, prosecutors stated. He additionally took a chunk of her mail and left behind a word that stated, “Nancy, Bigo was right here,” prosecutors stated. Barnett punctuated the message with a sexist expletive.

Earlier than leaving Capitol grounds, Barnett used a bullhorn to present a speech to the group, shouting, “We took again our home, and I took Nancy Pelosi’s workplace!” in line with prosecutors.

Barnett, testifying close to the tip of his trial, stated he regrets coming to Washington for the “Cease the Steal” rally the place then-President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of supporters.

“Two years of misplaced life. Distress for my household,” he stated.

Prosecutors stated Barnett deliberate his journey to Washington for weeks and went ready for violence. (Washington County Police/Reuters)

He additionally expressed remorse for utilizing vulgar language in his word to Pelosi.

“I in all probability should not have put my ft on the desk,” Barnett stated.

A grand jury indicted Barnett on eight fees, together with felony counts of civil dysfunction and obstruction of an official continuing. He additionally faces a cost of coming into and remaining in restricted constructing or grounds with a lethal or harmful weapon — the stun gun with spikes hid inside a collapsible strolling stick.

Burnett says he ‘went into disaster mode’ 

In opening statements for the trial, a prosecutor stated Tuesday that Barnett deliberate the journey for weeks and got here ready for violence.

“The defendant violated that area,” prosecutor Alison Prout stated.

McBride informed jurors on Wednesday that Barnett was only a “loopy man from Arkansas” who did not damage anyone on Jan. 6 and could not have harmed anyone with the stun gun system as a result of it was damaged that day.

“We’re not asking you to approve of his actions,” McBride stated, calling it “essentially the most well-known trespass case of all time.”

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A mob of supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump climb by a window they broke as they storm the U.S. Capitol Constructing on Jan. 6, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Barnett stated the group of Trump supporters leaving the rally was in a jovial temper as they approached the Capitol. He stated he grew to become indignant after he heard a loud bang and noticed what gave the impression to be cops firing tear gasoline on the crowd.

“It flipped my world the wrong way up,” Barnett stated, calling it his first expertise with police brutality after years of being a firefighter. “I went in full disaster mode.”

Barnett stated movies present that the group pushed him into the Capitol as he approached an entrance, inflicting him to briefly fall to his knees as he crossed the brink.

“Now we have no selection!” he shouted repeatedly on the video as he entered the Capitol.

Barnett stated he did not understand he had wandered into Pelosi’s workplace till one of many photographers requested him if he knew the place he was and he noticed empty envelopes with Pelosi’s title on them.

After police ordered him and others to depart Pelosi’s workplace, Barnett realized he had left his American flag behind. Physique digital camera video captured Barnett shouting at a police officer within the Rotunda for assist in retrieving the flag.

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Barnett arrives at U.S, federal courtroom in Washington on Jan. 10, 2023. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Related Press)

Prosecutors stated Barnett had a historical past of arming himself at political demonstrations earlier than the Jan. 6 assault. In July 2020, they stated, a 911 caller reported {that a} man matching Barnett’s description had pointed a rifle at her throughout a “Again the Blue” rally.

“Legislation enforcement in the end closed the investigation as unfounded as a consequence of unresolved obvious discrepancies within the proof,” prosecutors wrote.

In November 2020, police have been referred to as to a “Save the Youngsters” rally when a caller stated Barnett was carrying a gun on the protest and appearing suspiciously.

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