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Trial for Capitol rioter Richard Barnett delayed again

Arkansan Richard Barnett entered the U.S. Capitol alongside other rioters while carrying a U.S. flag and a stun gun walking stick.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — The federal trial for Richard "Bigo" Barnett, one of the most prominent people seen storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, will begin on January 9, 2023. 

The 61-year-old from Gravette became well-known after photos were posted online of him with his feet on Nancy Pelosi's office desk. He also took an envelope from her office, put a quarter on her desk, and left her a note that said, "Nancy, Bigo was here, you B****."

Barnett entered the U.S. Capitol alongside other rioters while carrying a U.S. flag and a stun gun walking stick.

On Monday, Nov. 21, lawyers for Barnett filed a motion to push the trial back for two reasons. The first is based on waiting until a decision is made in a separate trial involving a defendant charged with crimes on January 6. 

The District Court of Appeals is still considering a decision from U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, who dismissed one count against Garrett Miller, who is facing several other charges related to the attack on January 6. The ruling from Nichols, an appointee of President Donald Trump, is an outlier from decisions from other district court judges who are considering similar issues relating to Jan. 6th.

Credit: AFP via Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The government responded to this point, saying Judge Nichols' decision hasn't delayed the several other trials from going forward. 

Secondly, Barnett's attorneys say new evidence emerging "that are directly relevant to Mr. Barnett's defense" which includes the Congressional January 6th Committee's release of their report scheduled to be released on Dec. 6.

"As the Court knows," the government says in response, "alleged factual developments regarding January 6 writ large, but devoid of any connection to this Defendant, do not form a basis for a continuance." Basically, overall information relating to January 6th not specified to Barnett isn't enough to halt a trial, the government argues.

Barnett's lawyers also cite Joseph McBride's ongoing health predicament, which was the main reason the judge ruled that the trial could begin in December rather than September. 

In July, when the ruling was decided, the specific health concerns had to do with struggles with the recovery process of COVID-19 and "lingering and disruptive" symptoms due to Lyme Disease. 

In Monday's filing, one of Barnett's attorneys Jonathan Gross stated that McBride was scheduled to have a medical procedure in November, "but due to unforeseen complication [sic], the procedure could not be performed and must be rescheduled for December 9, 2022, the day of the pretrial conference and a few days before trial." 

The pretrial conference that was scheduled for Dec. 9 has been vacated and rescheduled for January 4, 2023. 

In a response from US Attorney Matthew Graves, he says the government agrees to the motion to delay the trial but for different reasons.

"[T]he government notes that while it is diligently preparing for trial, an imminent change in government counsel is anticipated. Thus, given the government’s strong interest in ensuring continuity in its trial team, coupled with the defendant’s lack of readiness, the government, in good faith, will not oppose the defendant’s continuance."

"The government expects the Defendant and his counsel to be otherwise prepared for trial at a date of the Court’s choosing," the government said in its response to the motion.

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