Adam Johnson, Spotted With Pelosi's Lectern, Stormed Capitol to 'Witness History'—Lawyers

Lawyers for the man who went viral across the world after he was photographed carrying off House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern during the attack on Capitol last week have attempted to differentiate him from the violent mob hoping to overthrow the government.

Adam Johnson, 36, from Parrish, Florida, is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; one count of theft of government property; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds in connection to the January 6 attack which ultimately left five people dead.

Speaking to CNN's Chris Cuomo, his attorneys David Bigney and Dan Eckhart said that the image of Johnson smiling and waving as he carries the lectern is just a snapshot and doesn't portray their client in his normal light.

"You always can't judge a book by its cover, so to speak," Eckhart said while answering Cuomo's question about why Johnson deserves their representation despite the overwhelming evidence against him.

"He is a family man. His wife is a physician. He has five children. There is nothing in his background or his past that would attribute any type of violence or this type of rebellious behavior to him. It is an anomaly, an unusual situation for him."

Bigney also denied Cuomo's suggestion that Johnson was part of an extremist plot to carry out a deadly insurrection in the Capitol.

"No, he certainly wasn't. He was there to witness a little bit of history and that's the extent of it," Bigney said.

"He wasn't involved in any coup. He wasn't involved in any planning of any entering of the Capitol. Things got out of hand. You saw the pictures. He was not there for any destruction, any treason. He was just there to witness history."

Eckhart goes on to state that Johnson was released on bond on Monday, which shows the judge did not consider him a flight risk or having played a part in planning any coup attempt.

He adds how the people who were fighting with law enforcement or destroying property were the "tip of the spear" of culpability.

"That's not our guy," Eckhart said. "Our guy is pro-law enforcement.

"You're going to have different levels of all the people being charged and indicted and our guy is not one of the violent, disruptive people who want to 'overthrow the government.' That's why he deserves our representation."

Cuomo then suggests that Johnson did exactly the same things as some of the more extremist members of the violent mob.

"He broke into the U.S. Capitol," Cuomo said. "He went where he wasn't supposed to be. He stole something that he knows isn't his. And he loved it."

In response, Bigney said there is a "big difference between him and the people that actually broke into" the Capitol.

"I don't believe there is any damage that he did any—any evidence that he did damage to anything," Bigney said. "It is clear that there was no security prohibiting the entry of a lot of the people that went in. So he was not one of those people that was forcing anything."

Cuomo presses that Johnson knew he wasn't supposed to go into the building at all and "knew he wasn't supposed to take that lectern."

"What you've seen is a picture," Bigney replies. "You've seen a picture of one instance."

Cuomo then raises fears if Johnson is freed despite the immense evidence against him that those who may be plotting further acts of violence will be "emboldened" knowing they also could get off.

"And this fool has been all over the place smiling as like, you know, the picture of exactly who you want to be if you're a big Trumper and I'm worried that him getting off, getting bond, sends the message that it's not that bad, you should try to do it, too," Cuomo said. "Are you worried about that?"

In response, Bigney said: "He's not all over the place smiling, a picture of one instance is all over the place. He's not putting himself out there with the big smiles, he's not doing any self-promotion, he's not sending out treasonist messages."

Bigney and Eckhart have been contacted for further comment.

Adam Johnson
A pro-Trump protester later identified as Adam Johnson carries the lectern of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.