Nine months after the US Capitol riot, a Pennsylvania woman has been formally charged with stealing and then selling or disposing of a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
An indictment unsealed on Thursday against Riley Williams accuses the 22-year-old of stealing a laptop from Speaker Pelosi’s office and then ultimately getting rid of it. Prosecutors also charged her with resisting police.
According to the FBI, Williams took a video during the riot of an HP laptop on a desk in Pelosi’s office. A woman, whom prosecutors claim is Williams, says, “Dude, put on gloves,” and a gloved hand grabs the laptop off the desk. The FBI alleges that a social media account with the user name “Riley” posted about having stolen from Pelosi and having taken Pelosi’s “hard drives.”
It’s unclear how much intelligence value the laptop might have, but Speaker Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill tweeted in January that a computer was stolen from a conference room and that it “was only used for presentations.”
A laptop from a conference room was stolen. It was a laptop that was only used for presentations. https://t.co/S7YGPnLaWy
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) January 8, 2021
In court documents, prosecutors noted claims by a tipster that Williams intended to send the laptop to Russia, and said those claims were still under investigation. Williams has denied the accusations against her. In January, Williams’ lawyer told the court that the allegations “came in part from a former abusive boyfriend” who has “threatened” her.
Update on a Jan. 6 case that got attention early on: Riley Williams was indicted yesterday, and it incl. a count that she originally faced for aiding/abetting the theft of a laptop from Pelosi's office — indictment doesn't have any more details https://t.co/U7poUvtFXe pic.twitter.com/PagQkiGEJD
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 7, 2021
In January, the FBI announced it opened an investigation into the theft of Speaker Pelosi’s laptop after a tipster identified Williams in a video from the Capitol and said she intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to that country’s foreign intelligence service.
Remember Riley June Williams, 22, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? She was just formally charged with stealing Speaker Pelosi’s laptop. She’s also facing seven other counts in the Capitol Insurrection, including a new charge for assaulting or resisting police officers. pic.twitter.com/dPEUrxy0d1
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) October 7, 2021
Williams has not yet entered a plea. Prosecutors had been in negotiations with Williams, but last month indicated in court that those talks had broken down and that the government was preparing for a trial.