Riley June Williams
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Riley June Williams is a 22-year-old woman who went inside the US Capitol during the storming of the Capitol building by supporters of the outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, on January 6, 2021.
Williams, a care worker from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, became involved in the America First movement in 2020, according to her mother. She was taken by her father to witness Trump's initial Save America March, but became separated as the crowd became riotous and began to march on the Capitol. Once inside the building, she was filmed telling other intruders where to go by saying "up the stairs, up the stairs". However, her mother and father say she was a peaceful protester who got lost in the crowd.
She was identified by the United Kingdom-based ITV News as taking a leadership role in the attempt by insurrectionists to seize the US Capitol building. According to Scott Neumann of National Public Radio, video from the day showed her directing other insurrectionists to go upstairs, and leading them to Nancy Pelosi's office. On January 17, 2021 ITV reported she "stood out" as one of the few women who illegally breached the building, wearing glasses and a green t-shirt bearing a slogan of the alt-right movement.
She has been accused by a former romantic partner of stealing a laptop from Pelosi's office, with the intent of selling its contents to the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, the country's main spy agency. According to her former partner, the deal did not happen for unnamed reasons, and Williams may still have the laptop (Williams has been charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol and disorderly conduct but not theft). The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the claims. Pelosi's chief of staff, Drew Hammill, tweeted that "a laptop that was only used for presentations" was taken from a conference room during the Capitol siege.
Williams fled her home, telling her mother "she would be gone for a couple of weeks", changed her telephone number, and removed all of her social media accounts. On January 18, 2021, she surrendered to authorities in Pennsylvania.
- "Riley Williams, Pennsylvania Woman Accused Of Taking Laptop From Nancy Pelosi’s Office During Capitol Riot, Taken Into Custody". CBS Pittsburgh (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). 2021-01-18. https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/01/18/riley-june-williams-nancy-pelosi-laptop/. Retrieved 2021-01-19. "FBI officials said a caller claiming to be an ex of Williams said friends of hers showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. The caller alleged that she intended to send the device to a friend in Russia who planned to sell it to that country’s foreign intelligence service, but that plan fell through and she either has the device or destroyed it."
- Roebuck, Jeremy. "Feds charge Harrisburg woman accused of stealing Pelosi's laptop and an ex-Pa. State Police cadet in connection with Capitol attack". Philadelphia Inquirer. https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/riley-june-williams-capitol-attack-pelosi-laptop-harrisburg-pennsylvania-arrests-20210118.html.
- Kachroo, Rohit (January 17, 2021). "Exclusive: ITV News identifies pro-Trump woman who stormed US Capitol" (in en). ITV News. https://www.itv.com/news/2021-01-16/itv-news-identifies-pro-trump-protester-who-stormed-us-capitol.
- Scott Neumann (2021-01-19). "FBI agents arrest Harrisburg woman accused of theft from Pelosi’s office during insurrection". National Public Radio (Harrisburb, Pennsylvania). https://www.witf.org/2021/01/19/fbi-agents-arrest-harrisburg-woman-accused-of-theft-from-pelosis-office-during-insurrection/. Retrieved 2021-01-19. "At about 20:40 into the video, a woman in glasses, wearing a green shirt and brown trench coat and carrying a black-and-white bag over her shoulder, identified as Williams, can be seen yelling 'upstairs, upstairs, upstairs,' pushing and urging people in the general direction of Pelosi’s office. The documentary singles out the woman, saying she was 'disciplined, focused, with a sense of urgency, directing people up a staircase.'"
- Strapagiel, Lauren (January 18, 2021). "The FBI Is Investigating Whether A Woman Stole A Laptop From Nancy Pelosi's Office And Planned To Sell It To Russia" (in en). BuzzFeed News. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/laurenstrapagiel/fbi-investigating-laptop-nancy-pelosi-russia-capitol-riot.
- Lund, Jonathan (January 18, 2021). "Case 1:21-mj-00099-RMM Document 1-1 Filed 01/17/21 Page 1 of 6". CourtListener. https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.226160/gov.uscourts.dcd.226160.1.1.pdf. "It appears that WILLIAMS has fled. According to local law enforcement officers in Harrisburg, WILLIAMS’ mother stated that that WILLIAMS packed a bag and left her home and told her mother she would be gone for a couple of weeks. WILLIAMS did not provide her mother any information about her intended destination. Sometime after January 6, 2021, WILLIAMS changed her telephone number and deleted what I believe were her social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler."
- Herridge, Catherine (January 19, 2021). "Woman investigated for allegedly stealing computer from Nancy Pelosi's office to give to Russia surrenders to authorities" (in en). CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/riley-williams-nancy-pelosi-computer-arrested/.
- Williams, Riley (15 March 2020). Assault on America: Can Trump Stop It? Illegal Aliens, Migrant Caravans, Sanctuary Cities, MS-13 Gangs, Open Borders, Uncontrolled Immigration. ISBN 978-1-0878-5390-1.