When you gotta go, you gotta go. That seems to be the defense of 60-year-old Richard “Bigo” Barnett, the man accused of taking over Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s private office. Barnett turned himself into the FBI but it appears Barnett fell into the dilemma of whether to shit his pants or find a restroom. As I’ll show, if Barnett’s story is accurate, his health may have been at risk. Pelosi’s office Here’s what we know so far from the mainstream media:
According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:
Richard “Bigo” Barnett has been arrested by the FBI.
During the melee at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Barnett, 60, of Gravette invaded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and posed for photographs with his feet propped on her desk.
ABC News is reporting:
Richard Barnett, the man who allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, posed for pictures and stole mail from her desk, was arrested Friday morning in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has been charged with three federal counts.
He was charged with entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and stealing public property.
NBC News provided more details on the Barnett saga:
As the chaos continued Wednesday afternoon, a New York Times reporter tweeted that he spoke with Barnett after his stunt in Pelosi’s office. In a video, he boasts that he took a personalized envelope, but insisted he didn’t steal it.
“I left a quarter on her desk,” he said.
Barnett also claimed that he knocked politely on the door to the California Democrat’s office, but was then swept inside by other rioters who had breached the Capitol. He said he left a “nasty note” as well, using an expletive to refer to Pelosi.
Barnett seems to be claiming that it’s just a
Bigo big misunderstanding. The New York Times’ Matthew Rosenberg is apparently the reporter who recorded a video of Barnett’s Capitol caper:
In addition, Bigo spoke with 5NEWs, explaining his side of the story. According to a report from 13 News Now:
“We marched down there. They start tear-gassing us. They start roughing up our people. It pissed some people off,” Barnett said. “They went to the front door, and they started demanding to be let inside. I wasn’t even up there at that point. I was climbing the steps to see what was going on. When I got to the top, they had breached the doors and were trying to get in.”
When asked about the possibility of facing federal charges for illegally entering the Speaker’s office, Barnett said, “Am I scared? Hell no. But yeah, there’s a possibility. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t breach the doors. I got shoved in. I didn’t mean to be there. Hell. I was walking around looking for a bathroom.”
As of this writing, it’s unknown whether Bigo had to rock a piss or drop the Browns off at the Super Bowl. However, based on the situation, it’s more likely he felt a bowel movement coming on as everyone knows the discomfort and social anxiety caused by the phenomenon universally known as shitting your pants. If Mr. Barnett was merely looking for a restroom (after conveniently being shoved into the Capitol by a raging mob), should he face any charges? As a former attorney (see my memoir Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Robbery): How an Attorney Survived Prison for all the details why I no longer practice), I could see Mr. Barnett claiming he was a victim of bodily functions getting the better of him, leading to his innocent blunder into Ms. Pelosi’s office.
However, any BM defense would likely require a showing that Mr. Barnett was concerned that holding in said BM would be detrimental to his health. He may have a defense then as the website Medical News Today notes the dangers of holding in one’s poop:
Avoiding passing poop may result in constipation. When this occurs, the lower intestine absorbs water from the stool that accumulates in the rectum. Stool with less water is more difficult to pass because it becomes hard.
In more severe situations, this behavior can lead to incontinence or cause severe issues, such as fecal impaction (when a hard, dry mass of stool becomes stuck in the colon or rectum) or gastrointestinal perforation (a hole in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract).
Holding in poop can also cause distension, or stretching, of the rectum. If the person loses sensation within the rectum — called rectal hyposensitivity, they may experience episodes of incontinence.
As bad as that sounds, things could possibly get even worse:
The author of a 2015 study suggests that an increased fecal load in the colon may increase bacterial counts and create long-term inflammation of the colon. This inflammation may increase the risk of developing colon cancer.
Note: The above comments are not legal advice but speculation on what may happen.
If Bigo was bothered by a BM, it’s fortunate he chose to hold it in rather than empty his bowels into Nancy Pelosi’s office. Not because it would have added any fecal matter to an office (and building) already full of it, but due to Congress having used up the Constitution as its toilet tissue.