Arkansas man seen in Pelosi's office makes first court appearance, bond hearing set for Friday

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The Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol had his first court appearance Tuesday. 

Richard Barnett appeared before a federal judge via a video conference where he was informed of the charges against him: Knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or restricted grounds without lawful authority while carrying a dangerous weapon, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and theft of public property.

The judge ordered Barnett, of Gravette, Ark., detained until at least Friday when it will be determined whether bail will be set. 

Richard Barnett, 60, allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during a riot inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. (Washington County, Arkansas)

The 60-year-old turned him in at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 8 after a widely circulated photo of him sitting at a desk in Pelosi’s office went viral. Barnett is seen sitting in a chair with his foot up on the lawmaker’s desk. 

In a short video interview posted to YouTube, Barnett is outside the Capitol and appears to be holding an envelope from Pelosi’s office. He claims he didn’t purposefully enter her office.  

“I didn’t break in. I got pushed in,” he told YouTuber Brandon Buckingham.


Barnett is one of dozens of people facing criminal charges for their alleged actions during the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol. On Tuesday, the Justice Department said it was considering sedition and conspiracy charges against some of those arrested. 

“We’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy,” said Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for Washington D.C., adding that his office has organized a team of senior national security and public corruption prosecutors. “They’re only marching orders from me are to build seditious and conspiracy charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol.”

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