On Friday, a federal judge rejected a request from a Trump supporter who stormed the U.S. Capitol and was photographed with his foot on a desk inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to ease up on the pre-trial restrictions so he can travel and buy and sell cars. Instead, the judge sided with Prosecutors who called for the opposite response, asking to give him a more restrictive curfew and make him report his assets.
The photograph of Richard “Bigo” Barnett gleefully kicking a foot on a desk inside Pelosi’s office instantly made him an icon of the Jan. 6th siege. For the chief judge of the District of D.C., the image showed a man who was “brazen, entitled, and dangerous.” Prosecutors zoomed in on the image to show he had a stun-gun in his pants. He also allegedly left Pelosi a note: “Nancy, Bigo was here, you biatch.”
Despite this history, Barnett was able to secure his release from jail on bond. in light of recent D.C. Circuit precedent making it harder to keep accused rioters detained before trial. Barnett has hardly kept a low profile since being released on bond. He had a birthday party at his home. Prosecutors said that local law enforcement was called to Barnett’s home, twice, and he appeared with his lawyer on Russian state television, which depicted him as a political prisoner.
After Barnett lost his job as a window salesman, the Arkansas man asked to loosen his restrictions to pursue what his lawyer described as his lifelong hobby of classic car dealing. But U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, who recently asked whether the business was more of a “side hustle,” refused to give him a longer leash.
In a scathing six-page brief, federal prosecutors on Thursday called for tightening the screws on Barnett—not the opposite.
“In sum, the defendant’s compliance has been questionable, and the defendant’s chosen employment activities make verification—in other words, ensuring the safety of the community—difficult,” the government’s brief states. “Ultimately, this reality does indeed suggest a different set of conditions, but not the one the defendant proposes.”
In one of the most egregious instances cited by prosecutors, Barnett started fundraising for his legal defense by selling autographed copies of the Pelosi picture.
The prosecution’s proposed new set of restrictions include requiring Barnett to stay inside his home and report all money from any source, including spousal income, to pre-trial services.