In the legal investigation into the storming of the US Capitol two years ago, the intruder who posed at the desk of top politician Nancy Pelosi has now also been found guilty. He now faces up to 47 years in prison. He had also left Pelosi a piquant note.
A jury in the capital Washington on Monday found Richard Barnett guilty of eight counts. In a separate trial, four members of the far-right US militia Oath Keepers were also found guilty of “seditious conspiracy”.
Barnett was found guilty of, among other things, obstructing an official process and entering an official building with a dangerous or deadly weapon. The sentence is to be announced on May 3rd. The man from the state of Arkansas faces a long prison sentence, prosecutors spoke of up to 47 years in prison.
Barnett, together with hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when the election victory of current President Joe Biden was to be finally confirmed there. Barnett then forced his way into the office of then-House Speaker Pelosi.
An AFP photographer snapped the gray-bearded man as he settled into the Democrat’s office chair at Pelosi’s desk and rested his foot on her desk. Barnett thus became one of the most famous faces of the attack on Congress – and was arrested two days later in Arkansas.
At the Capitol, the man nicknamed Bigo had told reporters that he left a note for Pelosi that said, “Nancy, Bigo was here you bitch.” He was armed with a walking stick with a stun gun.
The storming of the Capitol with five fatalities had shaken the United States deeply and caused international horror. Since then, the police have arrested more than 950 suspects, and the legal investigation is ongoing.
Four members of the Oath Keepers were also found guilty in a trial separate from Barnett’s trial on Monday. A jury in Washington found her guilty of “seditious conspiracy” against the US government. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was found guilty of this particularly serious charge in November.
Impeachment proceedings had been initiated against ex-President Trump, who had called on his supporters to march on the Capitol, because of the storming of the Capitol, but failed in the Senate. Last November, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to examine, among other things, Trump’s role in what happened.
In December, a parliamentary investigative committee recommended that the US judiciary initiate criminal proceedings against the ex-president. Among other things, it is about the accusation of inciting or aiding in the uprising and of obstructing an official process.