Harrisburg woman accused of helping steal Pelosi laptop due in federal court

MARK SCOLFORO
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A federal judge may decide Thursday whether a Pennsylvania woman accused of helping steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the attack on the U.S. Capitol should be released on bail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson is also expected to preside over a preliminary hearing for Harrisburg resident Riley June Williams, 22, who is accused of theft, obstruction and trespassing, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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The FBI says an unidentified former romantic partner of Williams tipped them off that she appeared in video from the Jan. 6 rioting and the tipster claimed she had hoped to sell the computer to Russian intelligence.

Video from the riot shows a woman matching Williams' description exhorting invaders to go "upstairs, upstairs, upstairs" during the attack, which briefly disrupted certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory.

Williams' attorney, federal public defender Lori Ulrich, declined comment on the case. Williams surrendered to face charges on Monday and has been locked up in the county jail in Harrisburg.

This booking photo provided by the Dauphin County, Pa., Prison, shows Riley June Williams. Federal authorities on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, arrested Williams, whose former romantic partner says she took a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. (Dauphin County Prison via AP)

In adding the theft-related charges on Tuesday, a Virginia-based FBI agent said Williams was recorded on closed-circuit cameras in the Capitol going into and coming out of Pelosi's office.

The agent's affidavit said a cellphone video that was likely shot by Williams shows a man's gloved hand lifting an HP laptop from a table, and the caption read, "they got the laptop."

Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, has said a laptop used only for presentations was taken from a conference room.

A federal prosecutor earlier this week argued that Williams should not be released on bail pending trial, claiming she might flee or try to obstruct justice.