[CNN, Getty Images]
The man photographed sitting at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk during Wednesday’s riots in the US Capitol has been arrested and charged with three federal counts, including theft of public property, federal officials said Friday.
Federal officials said Richard Barnett of Arkansas was taken into custody Friday morning in Little Rock.
Barnett was charged with knowingly entering and remaining in restricted building grounds without authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds as well as the theft of public property, officials said.
A resident of Alabama was also charged in connection with the pipe bomb found on the south side of the Capitol building. Eleven Molotov cocktails and military-style weapon were found in his pickup truck, officials said.
“Just because you’ve left the DC region you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office.Richard Barnett
“The FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation,” he said.
The Department of Justice on Friday announced that 13 people are facing federal charges stemming from the riot Wednesday at the Capitol. The full court records have not yet been made available for all defendants and only a handful of the individuals have made court appearances. In addition to those who have been charged, the Justice Department said that additional complaints “have been submitted and investigations are ongoing.”
“The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” said acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin. “My Office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol.”
It was not immediately clear whether Barnett has an attorney.
Barnett is in FBI custody, the Benton County, Arkansas, sheriff’s office public information officer Lt. Shannon Jenkins confirmed to CNN.
“He is in the custody of the FBI. He did not get booked into our facility. He was transported to another facility and in the custody of the FBI,” she said in an email.
When asked, Jenkins did not provide the name of the facility that Barnett was transferred to.
Even as more arrests are made in connection with the breach of the Capitol, lawmakers say they are perplexed at the lack of preparedness among law enforcement given that it had been known for weeks that President Donald Trump was promoting a rally he said was aimed at preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s win.
In response, US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund is resigning. He said in a statement Thursday that Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers were “actively attacked” with metal pipes and other weapons.
“They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” Sund said.
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” he added. “Maintaining public safety in an open environment — specifically for First Amendment activities — has long been a challenge.”
Beyond just arrests, multiple rioters who were at the Capitol are being identified through images and video on social media, and some have lost or left their jobs because of it.
“While we support all employees’ right to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, any employee demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer have an employment opportunity with Navistar Direct Marketing,” the company said in a statement provided to CNN.
By Kara Scannell