(FreedomJournal)- A woman from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has been arrested for her role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol building in early January.
Riley Williams, who is 22 years old, has been accused of stealing a laptop that belongs to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. FBI agents were able to draw the connection between Williams and Pelosi’s laptop based on tips they received from a former romantic partner of Williams’.
Federal authorities initially said they believed Williams stole the laptop and had the intention of selling it to security services in Russia. On Sunday, she was arrested and charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol building as well as disorderly conduct.
During the first court appearance for Williams on Tuesday, though, Christian Haughsby, the assistant U.S. Attorney, announced further charges that were filed. These include theft of government property as well as obstruction. Both of those charges are felonies that could see Williams spend up to 20 years in prison.
Haughsby declined to say whether investigators did indeed conclude that Williams intended to sell Pelosi’s laptop to Russia. They also didn’t say whether they were able to recover the laptop.
Williams has a federal public defender, Lori Ulrich, representing her. Ulrich said she had evidence that the account that was given by Williams’ ex-partner was blown way out of proportion.
The attorney made only one comment at Tuesday’s hearing:
“A lot of these allegations are false.”
Ulrich didn’t elaborate further at the hearing and declined to comment further following the hearing.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson has scheduled the next hearing in the case for Thursday. He did this to give prosecutors enough time to prepare their case for why Williams should be detained until her trial.
Not much is known about Williams or her motivations for stealing Pelosi’s laptop. According to a Philadelphia Inquirer report, she lived in an apartment with her mother. She worked for home health care agency Keystone Human Services, where she was assisting disabled people. The company, though, said it has fired Williams from her job.
Williams’ mother told ITV, a British network, that her daughter is an “empathetic and loving person.” She recently took an interest in Donald Trump’s politics.
The FBI said Williams’ father drove her to the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6. At some point during the day, the FBI said the dad and daughter were separated, and met up later in the night so they could drive back home.
Williams’ ex turned her into the FBI. He said she stole the laptop from a conference room within Pelosi’s office suite inside the Capitol building. He then claimed Williams bragged about having the laptop and her plans to send it to one of her friends who lives in Russia, who in turn would sell it to Russia’s security agency, the SVR.
Williams’ ex said those plans fell through, and he wasn’t sure whether Williams still possessed the laptop, or if it had been destroyed. FBI agents identified Williams on footage from ITV that was shot during the Capitol attack.
Williams turned herself into the FBI on Monday.