Capitol rioter who allegedly stole Pelosi’s laptop to sell to Russia released from jail

Josh Marcus
·3-min read
<p>Riley June Williams is seen in a booking photograph from the Dauphin County Prison</p> (via REUTERS)

Riley June Williams is seen in a booking photograph from the Dauphin County Prison

(via REUTERS)

A Pennsylvania woman who allegedly stole a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the attack on the US Capitol and sought to sell it to Russian intelligence services will be released from jail to the custody of her mother, a federal judge decided on Thursday.

Riley June Williams will remain with her mother under travel restrictions and electronic monitoring and reappear virtually in federal court in Washington on Monday.

“The gravity of these offenses is great,” US Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson told Ms Williams. “It cannot be overstated.”

Ms Williams, 22, of Harrisburg, is facing charges of theft, obstruction, trespassing, and violent entry and disorderly conduct.

An alleged former romantic partner of the suspect says he identified her in a video from the 6 Jan riot in Washington, according to the FBI.

Watch: Capitol footage shows woman who alledgedly stole Pelosi’s Laptop

Her lawyer, Lori Ulrich, said the tipster was a former abusive boyfriend whose “accusations are overstated."Evidence from the case includes video taken during the insurrection shows a woman matching Ms William’s profile urging fellow rioters to head “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs" on a staircase leading to Ms Pelosi’s quarters, and a Virginia-based FBI agent filed an affidavit in the case saying the suspect was caught on camera going in and out of the Speaker’s office. She also likely filmed a cellphone video from inside the office, in which she allegedly says, "Dude, puton gloves," to a man taking the laptop, according to the agent.

Evidence from the case includes video taken during the insurrection shows a woman matching Ms William’s profile urging fellow rioters to head “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs" on a staircase leading to Ms Pelosi’s quarters, and a Virginia-based FBI agent filed an affidavit in the case saying the suspect was caught on camera going in and out of the Speaker’s office. She also likely filmed a cellphone video from inside the office, in which she allegedly says, "Dude, puton gloves," to a man taking the laptop, according to the agent.

The agent added that a user of the social media app Discord named “Riley” also posted messages saying “I STOLE S*** FROM NANCY POLESI (sic)” and “I DOMT CARE I TOOK NANCY POLESIS HARD DRIVES I DONT CARE KILL ME (sic)."

All told, federal authorities have charged over 95 people with offenses related to the attack on the Capitol.

Authorities say they’re digging through hundreds of thousands of tips and have identified nearly 300 suspects in the riot. The large, mostly white, pro-Trump mob was a hodgepodge of believers in the Q conspiracy, white supremacists, and far-right vigilante groups, some of whom allegedly conspired ahead to commit violence.

In his farewell address on Wednesday, the president turned on his supporters and condemned the violence after previously encouraging their efforts.

“All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol,” he said. “Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.”

Just before the attack, the president gave a fiery speech in which he vowed “we will never concede” and helped incite the mob, and released a video shortly after the insurrection reiterating the lie that the election was stolen from him and telling those who stormed the Capitol, “We love you. You're very special.”

Watch: How chaos at the Capitol exposed a double standard

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