By Greg Norman
The man photographed sitting at a desk in Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Capitol Hill riots has been identified by the media as Richard Barnett of Arkansas – and he is now insisting he is “not a thief” despite allegedly swiping a letter addressed by the House speaker.
Barnett, as of midday Thursday, does not appear to be facing any charges related to the storming of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, which resulted in four deaths and at least 70 arrests. Demonstrators are still being sought by police.
“If you are a wicked attorney get in touch with me – I’m going to need one or two,” he told KFSM in a phone interview following the chaos.
The 60-year-old from Gravette went viral Wednesday after images purportedly showed him sitting in a chair behind a desk in Pelosi’s office.
“As I’m looking for the bathroom I walked by and there were doors opened to offices. I looked in and saw it was Nancy Pelosi’s office,” he told KFSM.
“I sat down here in my desk. I’m a taxpayer. I’m a patriot. That ain’t her desk – we loaned her that desk,” he continued. “And she ain’t appreciating the desk, so I thought I would sit down and appreciate the desk.”
Barnett said at that point he realized he was cut and had “bled on her envelope.” One of the viral images appears to show blood on his left thumb.
“So I picked up the envelope and I put it in my pocket and I put a quarter on the desk. Cause I’m not a thief,” he told KSFM.
New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg later caught up to Barnett outside the Capitol. On his Twitter account, he shared an image of Barnett holding an envelope addressed by the California lawmaker.
“I didn’t steal it. I bled on it because they were f—–g macing me and I couldn’t f—–g see,” Barnett said in a video also posted to the account. “And so I figured well I’m in her office, I got blood in her office. I put a quarter on her desk even though she ain’t f—–g working.”