As the trial begins for Richard 'Rigo' Barnett, the Jan. 6 rioter who infamously kicked his feet up on the desk in Rep. Nancy Pelosi's (D-California) office, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff testified that the Capitol resembled a 'war zone' during the trial, according to Politico.
The aide, Emily Berret, was the first witness to testify at the trial. Berret also testified that she and fellow Pelosi staffers hid in an adjacent conference room during the riots while Barnett positioned himself at Pelosi's desk during his famous photo with his feet on her desk.
Berret was with Pelosi the entire day of Jan. 6 and her testimony detailed their communications during the crisis, as well as revealing the real-time dialogue with the police. She specifically recalled the time immediately before having to evacuate the House floor when one of the Capitol police sergeants gave her instructions she will always remember.
"Next time you see the whites of my eyes, take the speaker down," Berret said as the sergeant detailed when to start the evacuation.
Berret led the evacuation of the speaker's staff and ordered them to hide in the conference room while they blocked the doors from entry. During this time Berret said that she, chief of staff Terry McCullough, Pelosi, and Pelosi's daughter Alexandra left the Capitol in a security-staffed vehicle.
Berret's testimony also included the fact that, amidst the chaos, Pelosi left her phone on the House floor and Berret's phone was the main point of contact for all the communications that followed.