Richard Barnett, Capitol Rioter Who Sat At Pelosi’s Desk, Released From D.C. Jail
After serving more than four months in government custody, Richard Barnett was released from jail on orders of a federal judge on Tuesday.
Barnett is the subject of a viral photo of himself with his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s (D-California) desk. Investigators also determined that Barnett stole a piece of Pelosi’s mail and left a threatening note on her ransacked desk.
U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper ordered that Barnett be released until his trial, but not without further condemning his actions during the January 6 Capitol insurrection. “Jan. 6 was a criminal effort to undermine one of the essential pillars of our democracy,” Cooper said, then noting Barnett and others were “people who were sold and willingly bought a bill of goods that the election was stolen.”
A federal magistrate in Arkansas, Barnett’s home state, had approved Barnett’s release earlier, but their request was shot down by the chief judge of the District Court in Washington, Beryl Howell. “His entitled behavior that he exhibited in videos and photographs when inside the Capitol show a total disregard for the law, a total disregard for the U.S. Constitution,” Howell said of Barnett at an earlier hearing for his release. “This violence disrupted a constitutional function of Congress.”
Judge Cooper ruled Tuesday, however, that, “It’s not enough that the defendant participated in the Jan. 6 events,” explaining that a new appeals court decision redefined the criteria required for pretrial detention of those arrested during the Capitol insurrection. Under the new rulings, Barnett could not be held any longer.
“The burden faced by the government, clear and convincing evidence, has just not been met in this case, in my view,” Cooper said
Cooper ordered Barnett to return to his home with a GPS monitoring device and noted that he is allowed to leave for work, medical, legal and religious reasons. “Consider this a test, ok?” Cooper said to Barnett in the Tuesday hearing for his release.