'Constitution Loving' Capitol Rioter Flunks Basic Bill Of Rights Question At Trial

Richard Barnett is most recognized for the image of him propping his feet up on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk and leaving her a vulgar note.
Richard Barnett sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 6, 2021.
Richard Barnett sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 6, 2021.
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rioter infamous for resting his feet on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk and leaving her a crass message testified Thursday in his criminal trial, and he has some regrets.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett told jurors in federal court he wished he’d never attended the rally, nor should he have stormed the Capitol building after, for which he’s facing eight charges.

“I shouldn’t have put my feet on the desk,” the 62-year-old Arkansas resident acknowledged. “At the time, I thought it was funny.”

He also apologized for leaving a “nasty note” on the House speaker’s desk that read, “Hey Nancy, Bigo was here” and called her a “biatch.”

The apologies did little to satisfy government prosecutors, however, who portrayed Barnett as fundamentally lacking in civic literacy despite proclaiming himself as a lover of the U.S. Constitution.

CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane relayed the interaction from the courtroom:

“You love the Constitution?” the prosecutor opened. “Love it!” Barnett responded.

“First Amendment?” the prosecutor asked. “Yes,” said Barnett. “Second Amendment?” the prosecutor continued. “Yes,” said Barnett. “Love the Third Amendment?” asked the prosecutor. “Yes,” said Barnett. “What’s the Third Amendment?” the prosecutor pressed. Then, after a pause, Barnett conceded, “I don’t know.”

(The Third Amendment forbids the federal government from using privately owned civilian homes to quarter soldiers without the owners’ consent.)

Pelosi addressed Barnett’s conduct on Jan. 6 in an interview last year, saying he “disrespected the Constitution of the United States” and exhibited behavior he’ll struggle to explain to his children.

In a previous court appearance, Barnett’s lawyer attempted to argue that referring to Pelosi as a “biatch” should earn him kudos, claiming the term is “a slang and less offensive word for ‘bitch.’”

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