A woman from Pennsylvania will appear before a federal court on Monday to face charges in connection with the theft of a laptop belonging to Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
The computer was stolen from Pelosi’s office earlier this month when a crowd of people who had been attending a political protest forced their way into the US Capitol building and disrupted the certification of then President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Harrisburg resident Riley June Williams was arrested by federal authorities on January 18 following a tip to the FBI from the 22-year-old’s former romantic partner. The ex said that Williams appeared in a video of the Capitol invasion and had said that she intended to sell Pelosi’s stolen computer to Russian intelligence.
Williams, who has no prior criminal record, was charged with trespassing, obstruction, theft, violent entry, and conducting herself in a disorderly way on Capitol grounds.
Video from the chaotic scenes at the Capitol that unfurled on January 6 show a woman matching Williams’ description saying “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs” to people who were trespassing in the building.
An affidavit submitted to the court by an FBI agent based in Virginia stated that Williams had been seen on closed-circuit security camera footage entering and exiting the office of the speaker.
The agent said a video showing a man’s gloved hand picking up an HP laptop from a table and captioned with the words “they got the laptop” may have been shot on a cellphone belonging to Williams.
After three nights in jail, Williams was released into the custody of her mother yesterday by Federal Judge Martin Carlson and placed under travel restrictions.
Carlson ordered Williams to appear in federal court in Washington on Monday to continue her case.
“The gravity of these offenses is great,” he told Williams. “It cannot be overstated.”
Lori Ulrich, defending Williams, said the FBI’s tipster was an abusive ex-boyfriend of Williams whose accusations “are overstated.”