One of the far-right goons awaiting trial for storming the U.S. Capitol on January 7 — who was infamously photographed inside Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office — wants out of home detention to go to a car show.
A lawyer for Richard “Bigo” Barnett wrote in a motion to United States District Court Judge Christopher Coopers that classic cars are their client’s “lifelong hobby,” according to the Daily Beast. Currently, “Bigo” is prohibited from travelling outside of a 80 km radius of his home without permission from the court and has been “terminated from his career position as a window salesman.” His attorney, Joseph McBride, wrote the travel restrictions interfere with his ability to “buy inventory that he must inspect, appraise, negotiate, and purchase in person,” which is now his primary source of income. Barnett’s lawyers are seeking to have any work-related travel requests be handled by his pretrial services officer instead of the court, as well as that he be allowed to attend a car show in his home state of Arkansas on June 18 overnight.
“This is the only way that he has the opportunity to make ends meet, provide for his family and pay for his legal defence,” McBride said, according to the Daily Beast.
The January 7 riots, stoked by Donald Trump as part of a doomed effort to prevent U.S. Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections, resulted in multiple deaths. Footage of Barnett putting his feet on Pelosi’s desk was widely broadcast in news reports about the riots. He also left a note in her office, which has been the subject of dispute.
While prosecutors say it said, “Nancy, Bigo was here, you bitch,” Barnett’s attorneys have unconvincingly claimed it instead said, “Nancy, Bigo was here, biatd” (which in turn they say was a spelling error, as he was trying to write the slightly less offensive “biatch”). This defence has been undermined somewhat by court documents showing Barnett told a local news station the note indeed said “bitch.”
According to a prior Daily Beast report, Barnett posed with firearms in photos on Facebook and wrote on one account that he “came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else’s blood” and was “not afraid to go out the same way.” In a separate post, he wrote he was “undeniably” white and nationalist, “so that makes me a white nationalist.”
Barnett, who faces charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property, was released from custody into home detention with a GPS monitor in April. According to KWNA-TV, he recently set up a website asking for donations to fund his legal defence, offering signed photos of him in Pelosi’s office as a reward for a contribution of $US100 ($128) or more.
The Daily Beast reported that prosecutors have urged the court to reject the car show request, stating that Barnett has previously been involved in a “civil dispute” (hmm) at a prior show.