WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — Four days before his federal trial is set to begin, a Gravette man charged for his actions during the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has filed a motion asking for the most recent charge against him to be dismissed.
Richard Barnett, 62, has a trial date set for January 9 on eight federal charges. In a January 5 filing, Barnett’s defense team asked for a civil disorder charge that came in an “eleventh hour surprise superseding indictment” filed on December 22, 2022 to be dismissed.
The defense has argued that Barnett was prejudiced because the new charge required the defense to “reevaluate the evidence with an eye towards the new charge.” They cited this as a factor in a continuance request, which was denied by the court.
In the latest filing, the defense cites what it calls a “constitutional problem” with the U.S. statute involved with the civil disorder charge.
The statute’s name, ‘Civil disorders’ is deceptive, in that none of its three constituent parts are directed at participants in a civil disorder, i.e., the statute does not prohibit ‘disturbing the public with acts of violence’ or ‘assembling with three or more persons to cause immediate danger.’Defendant’s motion to dismiss, USA vs. Barnett, January 5
It continued by claiming that the statute “seeks to include individuals who played a secondary role to a civil disorder, but would otherwise evade liability because they were not directly involved.”
It also stated that the “poorly written statute is frequently challenged in federal courts, including at least eight times in the last two years.”
Barnett is charged with: civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding; aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol Building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building; parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building; theft of government property.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.