Alleged Pelosi Laptop Thief Freed After Court Appearance
The Pennsylvania woman who allegedly helped steal a laptop computer from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was released from jail Thursday, but only after being dressed down by a federal judge.
Riley June Williams, 22, was placed in her mother’s custody under an order issued by Federal Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson. The judge’s order says Williams must stay in the home she shares with her mother and must have no contact with any witnesses or victims of the Capitol siege. Carlson said he agreed to release Williams because she had no previous criminal record, but he warned that her mother, Wendy Williams, could be criminally charged is she fails to report to the court any violations of the conditions of release.
“Your mother is making an enormous leap of faith on your behalf, and you are the one person in this courtroom who can make sure your mother doesn’t have to choose between her love for you and her duty to this court,” Carlson told the defendant.The younger Williams is facing two felony charges punishable by decades in prison, as well as two misdemeanors. An affidavit filed Tuesday accuses her of filming and then sharing a video of someone else picking up an HP computer from a desk in Pelosi’s office. A user named “Riley” later posted on the social media platform Discord that they “stole s— from Nancy Polesi [sic].”
Williams’ ex-boyfriend was a key witness in the FBI’s investigation. He told authorities that Williams’s friends played a video of her stealing a hard drive or computer from Pelosi’s office. Williams had planned to send the device “to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service,” the former boyfriend said, according to the affidavit.
The stolen laptop, “only used for presentations,” was taken from a conference room, according to Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff.
In video clips allegedly live-streamed from the Capitol by Williams, a female voice that the FBI said is hers instructs someone else in Pelosi’s office to put on gloves. A black-gloved hand then takes a computer off a table as a caption on the video says, “they got the laptop.”