On Jan. 6, 2021, as the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., was under siege from a cast of Qanon characters and predominantly misguided white-wing extremists, images emerged showing a gentleman lounging about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. He posed for photos while sitting in the speaker’s chair, feet up on the desk, and ended the adventure by stealing a piece of Pelosi’s mail. Richard Barnett of Gravette, Arknasas, even took a nice portrait photo, bare chest exposed (for some reason), in front of the Capitol building, holding up the piece of mail he had stolen from Speaker Pelosi’s office. Barnett reportedly even left a note for Pelosi that read “Nancy, Bigo was here, you B****.” “Bigo” is his nickname.
Barnett was quickly identified and arrested. His initial defense was that he wandered into Pelosi’s office because he had been looking for a bathroom. Not unlike many other well-documented insurgents, Barnett’s No. 1 argument is that he didn’t physically knock down the doors of the Capitol—he just walked right on in. The 60-year-old Barnett was hit with three charges: Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds; and Theft of Public Money; Property, or Records. Initially, an Arkansas judge approved Barnett’s release into the custody of his girlfriend—a person who had admitted to aiding and abetting Barnett on his return from D.C. This was quickly reversed by Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, who chastised Barnett in court and ordered him jailed until another hearing.
A couple of weeks later, a grand jury indicted Barnett on five additional charges, including Obstruction of an official proceeding; Aiding and abetting; Entering and remaining in a certain room in the Capitol building; Disorderly/Disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. So how are things going now for Mr. Barnett—I mean, “Bigo?”