A supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
A man photographed sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s office during the D.C. riots on Wednesday has been arrested, multiple law enforcement officials familiar with the situation told NBC News.
Richard Barnett was apprehended in Arkansas and charged with entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property.
Photographs of Barnett with a foot on Pelosi’s desk quickly circulated as an illustration of the chaos that enveloped the Capitol when a mob supporting President Donald Trump broke past police and threatened lawmakers inside.
Barnett, who goes by “Bigo,” bragged to reporters about what he had done shortly after exiting the Capitol, which ultimately helped police to track him down.
“I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk,” he told The New York Times, while holding an envelope he had taken from the office, emblazoned with the speaker’s letterhead.
Police identified Barnett after comparing the images published by the media to a photograph of Barnett obtained via law enforcement databases, according to an affidavit signed by Special Agent James Soltes of the U.S. Capitol Police that was made public by the Justice Department.
“On the same date, BARNETT spoke to media outlets in a video recording. In the recording, BARNETT is wearing the same hat and plaid jacket as worn inside of the Speaker’s office except that BARNETT appears to have removed his shirt,” Soltes wrote.
Soltes wrote that a person off camera asked Barnett how he obtained an envelope in his hand that was addressed to Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., from Pelosi.
Soltes wrote that Barnett said in response to the question: “I did not steal it. I bled on it because they were macing me and I couldn’t f—— see so I figured I am in her office. I got blood on her office. I put a quarter on her desk even though she ain’t fucking worth it. And I left her a note on her desk that says ‘Nancy, Bigo was here, you B—-.'”
Barnett could not immediately be reached for comment.
Other materials were also taken from Pelosi during the raid, with potential national security implications.
An aide for the California Democrat told NBC News that one of the speaker’s laptops was stolen amid the rioting.
The laptop was only used for presentations, the aide said, but the theft raised further concerns about the potential pilfering of electronics containing sensitive government information during the breach.
Barnett claimed to be a white nationalist and criticized Pelosi on Facebook shortly before the attack while writing under a pseudonym, The Washington Post reported.
The Department of Justice has said that it will bring charges against those involved in crimes related to the insurrection. As of Thursday, prosecutors had brought 55 criminal cases and at least 15 federal cases.
On Friday, a GOP member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Derrick Evans, was also charged in connection with the riot, NBC News reported. Evans posted a video of himself entering the Capitol on social media.
Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protests inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images