Court Battles

Man seen posing in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released from jail

The man who helped storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 and posed for a photo inside Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office will be released from jail after a federal judge's ruling Tuesday. 

U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that Richard Barnett does not pose enough danger to warrant keeping him behind bars until his trial.

Barnett was among the highest profile rioters after an image of him posing and photos of letters he left Pelosi went viral.

Cooper's ruling reverses a January decision ordering him to remain in jail, saying his "entitled behavior ... shows a total disregard for the law and for officials' directives."

However, Cooper on Tuesday ruled that prosecutors had failed to present enough evidence that Barnett would pose a danger out of jail before his trial.

Pretrial detentions are rare and are only implemented when defendants are believed to pose a great danger to the public. Only a handful of rioters have been kept behind bars as they await trial. 

Cooper's release comes as federal prosecutors step up their cases against participants in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

More than 400 people associated with the riot have been arrested, and prosecutors have filed conspiracy and other charges specifically against a dozen believed to be members of the Oath Keepers militia.

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