HomeUSA newsPennsylvania woman convicted of Jan. 6 riot says she broke into Pelosi's...

Pennsylvania woman convicted of Jan. 6 riot says she broke into Pelosi’s office

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A Pennsylvania woman linked to the far-right extremist movement “Groyper” was convicted Monday on several federal charges after prosecutors said she was part of a group that broke into the office of House Speaker Nancy. Pelosi, during the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Riley June Williams was found guilty of six federal charges, including civil disorder. But the jury deadlocked on two other charges, including “aiding and abetting the theft” of a laptop that was stolen from Pelosi’s office during the insurrection. The jury also failed to reach a unanimous verdict on whether Williams obstructed an official proceeding.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Williams detained after the jury returned its verdict.

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Williams joined the mob attack on the Capitol after attending the “Stop the Steal” rally, where then-President Donald Trump addressed thousands of supporters earlier that day. Entering Pelosi’s office, he found a laptop on a table and told another rioter, “Dude, put your gloves on,” before someone with a black gloved hand removed the computer, according to prosecutors.

Williams later bragged online that he stole Pelosi’s gavel, laptop and hard drives and that he “gave the electronic devices, or attempted to give them, to unspecified Russian individuals,” prosecutors said in a court filing from June 2022.

“To date neither the laptop nor the deck have been recovered,” they added.

A witness described as a former romantic partner of Williams told the FBI that he intended to send the stolen laptop or hard drive to a friend in Russia who planned to sell it to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. But the witness said Williams kept the device or destroyed it when the transfer failed, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.

Riley June Williams, a convicted troublemaker in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, claimed to have broken into the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the incident.

Williams, a resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested less than two weeks after the riot. She was charged with theft of government property, assaulting police and obstructing the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote. Williams also faced misdemeanor charges, including disorderly or disruptive conduct.

Williams denied stealing the laptop when questioned by the FBI. She claimed her ex-boyfriend “made up” the accusation, prosecutors said.

Before leaving the Capitol, Williams joined other rioters in pushing off police officers who were trying to clear the rotunda of the building. Police body camera captured the confrontation, as Williams encouraged other rioters to “keep pushing” and “push, push, push.”

Williams was wearing an “I’m with groyper” T-shirt as he entered the Capitol. The term “groyper” refers to followers of “America First” leader Nick Fuentes, who has used his online platform to spew anti-Semitic and white supremacist rhetoric.

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Other Fuentes supporters have been charged with crimes related to January 6, including former UCLA student Christian Secor, 24, of Costa Mesa, California. Secor, who was waving an “America First” flag as he entered the Capitol, was sentenced last month to three years and six months in prison.

Williams’ online footprint also included material associated with “accelerationism,” a violent ideology that claims that “Western governments are corrupt and insurmountable, and therefore the best thing a person can do is hasten their collapse by wreaking havoc.” and generating political conflict,” prosecutors said. she said she.

In December 2020, Williams attended at least two rallies protesting the presidential election result. Both rallies featured speeches by Fuentes.

“His admiration for Nick Fuentes, his self-identification as ‘Groyper,’ his belief in accelerationism, and his support for violence circumstantially show the mixed motives behind his actions on January 6: he not only specifically sought to prevent Congress from certifying the College electoral vote, but also to undermine and obstruct the government in general,” the prosecutors wrote.

Before his trial, Williams’s lawyers questioned the relevance of his political activities and ideology.

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“There is no evidence linking your beliefs and actions prior to January 6 to your actions on that day,” they wrote. “There is a legitimate risk that juries will try Ms. Williams simply for the unpopular and extreme ideologies that she has espoused in the past, rather than for the actual crimes of which she is accused.”

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