In court Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon scrutinized Barnett’s account of Jan. 6, which visibly angered Barnett. He had said the day before that he would apologize to Pelosi, D-Calif., if she were present. During cross-examination, Barnett admitted that when a police officer told him to leave her office he replied: “You need to give up communism.” He also confessed to telling an officer in the Capitol: “We’re in a war. You need to pick a side. Don’t be on the wrong side or you’re going to get hurt.”
Barnett maintained that he had not broken the law on Jan. 6. “I made some bad mistakes and I regret them but I don’t think I broke the law,” he said. “I feel like a f—— idiot.”
Asked Monday if testifying may have backfired, McBride, Barnett’s lawyer, said, “We thought that the decision to testify was unequivocally the right one. He had a story that needed to be told. People needed to know why he came here, what his intentions were, and what he did while he was here. The man got up there and he told the truth, and it didn’t work out for him, but at the end of the day we have no regrets about that choice.”
Two years after the riot, the FBI and the Justice Department’s investigation has yielded 900 arrests and nearly 500 guilty pleas. Dareh Gregorian contributed.