Woman Accused of Swiping Pelosi Laptop Gets Out of Jail

Lawyer says charges against Riley Williams have been 'overstated'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2021 9:09 AM CST
Woman Accused of Swiping Pelosi Laptop Gets Out of Jail
This booking photo provided by the Dauphin County Prison shows Riley June Williams.   (Dauphin County Prison via AP)

A Pennsylvania woman who allegedly swiped a laptop from Nancy Pelosi's office during the Capitol riot has been released on house arrest pending trial—and Riley William's lawyer has begun what the Philadelphia Inquirer calls an attempt to "reframe the narrative" around the case. In a court hearing Thursday, attorney Lori Ulrich said a former romantic partner's allegations that Williams planned to sell the laptop to Russia were "overstated." Ulrich said Williams fled her mother's home and changed her phone number after she was identified as a suspect to avoid her allegedly abusive ex-partner, though her mother told reporters she had left to avoid the FBI. The 22-year-old was arrested Tuesday after surrendering to the FBI.

The Inquirer reports that while the FBI's allegation regarding Williams and Pelosi's laptop was originally based only on the ex's claim, they have since cited a video in which they say Williams was apparently directing rioters during the attack. Authorities also say she posted messages on Discord including "I took Nancy Polesis [sic] hard drives. I don’t care," and "They'll never take me alive." CBS reports that a criminal complaint filed Tuesday states that Williams' ex shared video clips with investigators, including one taken inside Pelosi's office in which a woman believed to be Williams tells a man to put on gloves before he touches a laptop. Williams faces charges including felony theft of government property and obstruction of Congress. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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