Former Parkersburg Councilman Eric Barber, set to be sentenced this week for surging into the U.S. Capitol, testified to Congress’s January 6 Committee that he’d felt urged to return by the president of the United States.
“He personally asked for us to come to D.C. that day. And I thought, for everything he’s done for us, if this is the only thing he’s going to ask of me, I’ll do it,” Barber stated in testimony launched on video final week within the first listening to of the January 6 Committee.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 10, 2022
Barber will study the implications of responding to that invitation at 10 a.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
He has pleaded responsible to 2 misdemeanors. One is a rely of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building. The different is theft, an accusation that Barber stole a charging station belonging to a CSPAN worker.
In trade for his responsible plea, extra fees initially filed in opposition to Barber are being dropped. He additionally provides up his proper to a jury trial, the place he might need testified in his personal protection.
His courtroom appointed protection legal professional, Ubong Akpan, argues in a sentencing memorandum that Judge Christopher Cooper ought to contemplate some leniency as a result of Barber dedicated no violence, shortly regretted his determination to enter the Capitol, cooperated with investigators together with the January 6 Committee — and since he, like others, believed he’d been requested to the Capitol by the president.
Akpan asks for probation and residential detention for Barber, relatively than jail time.
“Mr. Barber had no plan, intention or thought to take over the government on Jan. 6,” Akpan wrote. “He was not part of a militia group seeking to overthrow the government. He did not encourage violence. He followed the commands of law enforcement on January 6th and cooperated with law enforcement thereafter, and has demonstrated remorse.”
A mob storming the U.S. Capitol that day disrupted the constitutional obligation of counting Electoral College votes and prompted the evacuations of representatives, senators and Vice President Mike Pence. One girl was fatally shot whereas making an attempt to climb into the chambers, three others died from “medical emergencies” and greater than 100 police officers had been injured.
Of the 1000’s of protesters in Washington, D.C., that day, about 800 went into the Capitol, police have stated.
In feedback earlier than the January sixth Committee at present, Congresswoman Liz Cheney pointedly stated that “hundreds of our countrymen have faced criminal charges. Many are serving criminal sentences because they believed what Donald Trump said about the election and they acted on it. They came to Washington, DC at his request.”
One of these is Eric Barber, 43, who misplaced his job as an HVAC technician after Jan. 6.
“Mr. Barber traveled alone to the Capitol,” Akbar wrote within the sentencing memorandum. “He attended the rally alone and found commonality with several others in attendance. He regretfully went along with the crowd.”
Akbar’s sentencing memorandum units the scene by describing incendiary feedback made in speeches main as much as that day’s occasions:
Lara and Eric Trump inspired the gang to march on the Capitol and “stand up for this country and stand up for what’s right,” Akbar wrote. Donald Trump Jr. instructed supporters, “You have an opportunity today: You can be a hero, or you can be a zero.” Rudy Giuliani, the president’s private legal professional, known as for “trial by combat.”
And at 1:10 p.m. that day, the president instructed supporters, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country any more.”
When the speeches concluded, Barber joined the gang heading towards the Capitol.
“I had a pretty significant lapse in judgement, then went ahead and, you know, went with the wave of bodies,” Barber instructed investigators.
He entered at 2:26 p.m. by way of the Senate wing home windows, close to the doorways. Early on after coming into, he pocketed a charger from a C-SPAN station and took it residence, resulting in the theft cost.
Investigators started inspecting Barber’s conduct in Washington, D.C., after a number of folks offered ideas.
The investigators examined Barber’s personal livestream video and social media posts, interviews he offered to native newspaper and tv reporters about being in Washington, D.C. that day, in addition to video from contained in the Capitol.
As pictures unfold of the folks contained in the Capitol, native folks recognized a person who appeared rather a lot like Barber sporting a inexperienced combat-style helmet and a military-style area jacket.
In a YouTube video known as “Shooting and Storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.,” the identical man in a crowded doorway says “They’re giving us the building?” He then faucets the helmet with each palms and begins transferring towards the entrance as the gang chants, “Break it down, break it down.”
That occurred about 2:37 p.m.
Prosecutors say he entered the hallway of the suite of places of work assigned to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and he was escorted out by police after which he walked round and entered the suite once more. Barber’s lawyer says that occurred as a result of he received misplaced.
That was about 2:58 p.m.
Federal prosecutors are asking for Barber to serve a complete of 4 months in jail for 2 counts, together with 60 hours of neighborhood service, three years of probation and $552 in restitution for his share of injury to the Capitol.
Prosecutors say his presence within the mob, his information that he shouldn’t have been there, his acknowledged willingness to have interaction in a struggle and his brazen feedback about that day to native media all add up.
“Even if he didn’t personally engage in violence or property destruction during the riot, before entering the Capitol on January 6, Barber encouraged and celebrated the violence of that day. He was captured on video saying ‘They’re giving us the building,’ indicating he was fully supportive of the crowd taking control of the Capitol,” the prosecutors wrote.
Barber instructed investigators that when he noticed a path of destruction on the Capitol, he turned more and more regretful.
“I mean, being there was bad enough. I’m not saying I took pride,” he stated. “I was thankful after the fact that I didn’t do the things that I saw being done there and… that I had a little bit better in me than — obviously I wasn’t supposed to be there.”