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Woman accused of stealing Pelosi's laptop released from jail

Riley June Williams will be released, with travel restrictions, into the custody of her mother.

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Riley June Williams
Riley June Williams
(Dauphin County Prison handout)
Updated: January 21, 2021 - 5:04pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A Pennsylvania woman accused of taking part in the theft of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the Capitol riot has been released from jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson said that Riley June Williams will be released, with travel restrictions, into the custody of her mother, and told her to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Monday to continue her case, according to the Associated Press.

"The gravity of these offenses is great," Carlson told Williams. "It cannot be overstated."

Williams, a 22-year-old native of Harrisburg, has been accused of theft, obstruction, trespassing, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Carlson said Williams did not have a criminal record prior to this incident.

The FBI said an unidentified former romantic partner of Williams told them that she appeared in video footage from the Jan. 6 rioting and claimed that she was planning on selling the laptop to a friend in Russia who would try to sell it to Russian intelligence. Lori Ulrich, Williams' defense lawyer, told Carlson the tipster is a former boyfriend who had abused Williams in the past and that "his accusations are overstated."

The sale purportedly never materialized.

Video from the riot at the Capitol shows a woman matching Williams' description urging other rioters to go upstairs during the protest. 

Williams, along with other attendees of a pro-Trump rally stormed the Capitol in protest of the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the Electoral College vote.

"It is regrettable that Ms. Williams took the president's bait and went inside the Capitol," Ulrich told the judge.

Williams on Monday turned herself in to authorities. She is expected to leave the county jail in Harrisburg late Thursday and will wear an electronic monitoring device until her trial.

A Virginia-based FBI agent said Williams was recorded in the Capitol going to and from Pelosi's office on Jan. 6.

The agent's affidavit said video footage from a cellphone that was likely shot by Williams shows a man's gloved hand taking a laptop from a table. The caption from the video reads, "hey got the laptop".

The whereabouts of Pelosi's laptop has not been disclosed in court documents and was not discussed in court Thursday.

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