Robert Barnett, photographed with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, became one of the many viral images of the January 6th attack. Now, his attorney is rejecting a plea deal on his behalf, citing, in part, Barnett’s age.
Barnett is 61 years old, and the plea deal he was offered, according to Law & Crime, would have required him to plead guilty to obstructing an official proceeding, accepting a sentence of 70 to 87 months, which works out to anywhere from under 6 years, to 7 years and a few months. Barnett’s attorney says, “We’re talking about a 61-year-old man,” and argues that Bernett wasn’t violent.
The plea bargain would have resulted in Barnett’s other charges — including an ‘entering and remaining’ charge and a ‘disorderly and disruptive conduct’ charge, both ‘with a deadly or dangerous weapon;’ and theft of government property — would have been dropped.
From his feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk to an Arkansas jail. Here's a mug shot of Richard Barnett, who was arrested this morning and is now facing federal charges pic.twitter.com/rpSJ3BvyAm
— Reena Roy (@reenaroy) January 8, 2021
Barnett’s attorney, however, says he intends to challenge the obstruction charge, though the other charges could add up to a lot more years of prison if Barnett is convicted. The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, has already indicated a leaning towards rejecting any motion to dismiss the obstruction charge.
Barnett has denied stealing mail from Pelosi’s desk, though he can be seen holding the envelope with her signature on it in a photo outside the Capitol Building. Law enforcement also identified a stun gun in his possession in photos taken inside the Capitol Building, though his attorney argues that he was not violent.
On a website set up to beg for donations for his legal fund, and to pay his bills and support his family after being fired for his connection to the attack, Barnett argues that his carrying a flag into Pelosi’s office is proof that he was engaging in political protest, not criminal activity, and complains that the flag has not been returned to him.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com