WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — The U.S. Government has filed a motion in opposition to Richard Barnett’s modified bail release requested by his attorneys on April 5, 2021, stemming from the U.S. Capitol riots on January 6, 2021.
“The defendant poses an ongoing and specific threat of prospective danger. Consequently, he must be detained pending trial,” U.S. prosecutors stated.
Barnett, 60, is the Gravette, Arkansas, resident who is seen in several photographs and videos on January 6, the day of the Capitol riot. He’s currently being detained in a Washington jail cell.
U.S. prosecutors opened the statement with, “Nancy, Bigo was here, b****.” (Barnett used his preferred nickname of “Bigo”) in his message to Congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on January 6, 2021, when he invaded and occupied her office during a mass siege of the U.S. Capitol that halted constitutional proceedings and required the evacuation of members of Congress and the then-Vice President.
The 18-page filing includes the defendant’s charges. In February, Barnett entered a not guilty plea to all counts of his indictment.
- Aiding and abetting
- Obstruction of an official proceeding
- Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
- Parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building
- Entering and remaining in certain rooms in a Capitol building
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
- Theft of government property
According to the filing, “The defendant traveled from his home in Gravette, Arkansas, to Washington, D.C. — a 16-hour drive — to take part in the “Stop the Steal” rally. On December 31, 2020, the defendant, who owns multiple firearms, purchased a “ZAP Hike N’ Strike 950,000 Volt Stun Gun Walking Stick,” in other words, a stun gun concealed within a collapsible walking stick.”
“At his hotel in Washington, on January 5, 2021, the defendant gave a group of onlookers a demonstration, discharging the stun gun in the hotel’s bar (and captured on surveillance video). The defendant thus showed himself to be a danger even before he stepped foot on the Capitol Grounds,” court documents state.
“Additional footage, recorded just before the siege at the U.S. Capitol, shows the defendant near a parking garage at Barnett’s hotel shouting, “We own this motherf*****. This is our country. This is our District. You want to f*** with us, bring it on!” The defendant was ready for a fight,” according to prosecutors.
Later in the filing, prosecutors described what Barnett did inside Speaker Pelosi’s office.
“At 2:50 p.m., the defendant is captured on surveillance video carrying an American flag and a cell phone while entering the doors that lead to the Speaker’s conference room adjoining the main office space. At 2:56 p.m., the defendant is captured leaving the main office doors of the Speaker’s Office with a phone in his hand. The lower part of the stun gun device can also be seen protruding from below his hip,” court filing states.
After Barnett left Speaker Pelosi’s office he was met by Metropolitan Police Department officer in the Rotunda of the Capitol.
“The government’s investigation has also revealed that, after leaving the Speaker’s Office, the defendant proceeded to the Rotunda. There, the defendant confronted law enforcement officers who were attempting to clear the Capitol by directing rioters to the Rotunda and its outside exit and guarding the wings of the Capitol from further intrusion by rioters,” the court filing states.
According to the court filing Barnett was captured on Metropolitan Police Department officers body cam video “aggressively demanding either to be allowed to go back to the Speaker’s Office, purportedly to get the American flag he left there.”
At one point during the confrontation with officers, which lasts several minutes, an officer attempts to press Barnett back, he can be seen gripping the stun gun device, which is under his shirt at his waist.
While officer attempted to push rioters back out of the Capitol Barnett tells officers, “Y’all better get my flag, I’m gonna bring ‘em in, they’ll shove you right through here if I don’t get my flag. It’s in Nancy Pelosi’s office… it’s going to get really bad, I’m telling you… hey, we’re fixing to call them in brother, GET MY F****** FLAG.”
Prosecutors argue on four factors in determining whether to keep Barnett incarcerated pending the trial.
- The nature and circumstances of the offense charged
- The weight of the evidence against the defendant
- His history and characteristics
- The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by his release.
In February, Barnett entered a not guilty plea to all counts of his indictment.
Barnett has another court date is set for May 4.