The stolen lectern that went viral during the Capitol riot was back for the impeachment vote

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
·2 min read

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern, which was seen being carried by a rioter during the breach at the U.S. Capitol last week, made an appearance Wednesday when Pelosi spoke after the House impeached President Donald Trump, again.

That brought the lectern's journey full circle from being stolen during the violent riots to being used after the historic impeachment vote Wednesday when Pelosi signed the article of impeachment.

Speaking from behind the lectern, Pelosi said the House demonstrated that "no one is above the law. Not even the president of the United States," while calling Trump "a clear and present danger to the United States."

The House impeached Trump and accused him of inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol. Five people died in the riot.

Trump is the first president in history to be impeached twice. House Democrats impeached Trump in December 2019 charging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in his dealings with Ukraine. A new Senate trial is expected to begin after Trump leaves office next week.

Adam Johnson, 36, a pro-Trump rioter who became known on social media as the "Podium Guy" after a viral photograph showed him grinning and carrying the speaker's lectern, has been charged with three felonies related to the breach of the Capitol building.

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According to the FBI, Johnson illegally entered the Capitol Building and removed the lectern from where it had been stored on the House side of the building.

In the photo, the large seal with the words “Seal of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives 1789” was visible on the lectern. It was widely circulated on social media.

Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Fla., 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 Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.  Johnson was arrested in Florida on Jan. 8, 2021 for his role in the U.S. Capitol riots.
Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Fla., 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 Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Johnson was arrested in Florida on Jan. 8, 2021 for his role in the U.S. Capitol riots.

Johnson was charged with one count of 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.

He was arrested Friday night and released on conditions that his wife co-sign his $25,000 bond and that he abide by a 9 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew with GPS monitoring.

The FBI consulted with members of Pelosi's staff and was told that before the forced entry, the lectern was stored in the speaker’s suite under a staircase to the third floor on the House side of the Capitol building. It was found by a member of the Senate staff in the Senate wing of the Rotunda in the Capitol building.

Contributing: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY; Carlos R. Munoz, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nancy Pelosi's stolen lectern used during impeachment ceremony