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'Not fair!': Man who put feet on desk in Pelosi's office has outburst at hearing for Capitol riot

Richard Barnett told the judge that "everybody else is getting out" after it was determined he'd stay in custody until his next court date in May.
Image: Richard Barnett.
Richard Barnett, a supporter of President Donald Trump sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images file

The man who was seen putting his feet up on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot had an outburst in federal court Thursday over his continued detainment.

Richard Barnett, reportedly screamed at Judge Christopher R. Cooper during a virtual hearing where it was determined he would remain detained until at least his next hearing in May. He yelled at Cooper that it was “not fair” that he remained in jail as others were released, according to NBC Washington’s Scott MacFarlane.

“Everybody else who did things much worse are already home,” Barnett said. He later added, “I’ve been here for a month, they’re going to set it for another month, and everybody else is getting out.”

Joseph D. McBride, Barnett’s attorney, denied reported characterizations that his client’s outburst was directed at Cooper.

“Mr. Barnett’s frustration stems from the fact that he is incarcerated pre-trial, despite lacking any criminal history, being gainfully employed, respected in his community, and in a stable relationship for over 20 years,” McBride said in a statement to NBC News. “Normally, facts like these are more than enough for an individual to fight their case from the outside.”

McBride added that the lack of in-person communication due to coronavirus restrictions placed on the hearing prevented his ability to explain to Barnett the court proceedings.

“The absence of our presence, in conjunction with Mr. Barnett’s inability to immediately understand the purpose of the forthcoming May 4th adjournment, is what he believed to be unfair,” McBride said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday’s hearing from NBC News.

Barnett was taken into custody in his home state of Arkansas in January on federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property. He has also been charged with disrupting official proceedings, disruptive and disorderly conduct and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, according to court records.

Images of Barnett reclining in a chair with his feet up on the desk were widely shared and quickly became synonymous with the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building. Barnett later spoke to a New York Times reporter, who tweeted about the exchange following the incident in Pelosi’s office.

He told the Times that he took an envelope from the desk and left Pelosi a quarter in exchange, even though “she ain’t f------ worth it.”

Barnett also claimed that he knocked politely on the door to the California Democrat's office, but was then swept inside by other rioters who had breached the Capitol. He said he left a "nasty note" as well, using an expletive to refer to Pelosi.

"I'll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the D.C. jail," he added.

CORRECTION (March 8, 4:05 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated which desk Richard Barnett put his feet on during the riot. It was used by an aide, not by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself.