Trump supporter who put feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk arrested

8 January 2021, 20:32

Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump, has been arrested after being pictured with his feet on the desk of Nancy Pelosi
Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump, has been arrested after being pictured with his feet on the desk of Nancy Pelosi. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

A Donald Trump supporter who was pictured sitting in Nancy Pelosi's office chair with his feet on the table during Wednesday's riot has been arrested.

The Justice Department said Richard Barnett was arrested and charged with entering and remaining on restricting grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property.

Barnett, 60, was arrested in Little Rock, Arkansas - over 1,000 miles from the Capitol where the unrest broke out.

The images of what appear to be Barnett were widely shared on social media on Wednesday, and the man in the pictures was interviewed afterwards claiming he had politely knocked on Pelosi's office door but was swept inside by a larger group of rioters.

Read more: Facebook has to protect Americans from their own president. What comes next?

He later told the New York Times: "I'll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the DC jail."

The Justice Department said he was taken into custody in his home state of Arkansas
The Justice Department said he was taken into custody in his home state of Arkansas. Picture: Getty

The FBI have vowed to hold anyone who was a part of the Capitol Mob accountable, with the force saying "no expense" will be spared in rooting out those responsible.

Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Steven D'Antuono said: “Just because you’ve left the DC region, you can still expect a knock at the door, if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol.

“We are sparing no expense or personnel or effort to root those perpetrators out and find them.”

Read more: Donald Trump says he will not attend Joe Biden's Inauguration

Five people, including one police officer, were killed during Wednesday's unrest.

Since then, Trump has issued a video backing down from previous rhetoric, saying his priority was arranging for an orderly transition to a new administration, and said Mr Biden will be sworn in on 20 January.

But Trump is refusing to attend the ceremony itself, and tweeted on Friday: "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration".

It is the first time in 152 years that a US President has refused to attend their successor's inaugural ceremony, and Barack Obama attended Trump's in 2017.

There have only been three US President's in history who refused to attend the following one - John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson in 1869.

Ms Pelosi today called Trump an "unstable president" and said she was seeking advice on how to prevent Trump from accessing the codes for a nuclear strike.

Democrats are discussing whether to act quickly to impeach Trump as soon as next week if his Cabinet does not first try to remove him after he encouraged loyalists who ransacked the Capitol.

If Trump, whose term ends on January 20, were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he could be prevented from running again in 2024 or ever holding the presidency again.

Trump would be only the president to be twice impeached.

House Democrats planned a caucus meeting at noon on Friday, the first since Wednesday's harrowing events at the Capitol, and could take up articles of impeachment against Mr Trump as early as the week ahead.

Three House Democrats are planning to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday, meaning the chamber could potentially vote on his removal from office by midweek, according two people familiar with the planning.

If leadership does decide to move forward, they could vote on articles of impeachment drafted by Representatives David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin and Ted Lieu.