Prosecutors concerned woman who allegedly stole Pelosi laptop might destroy evidence
Riley June Williams was arrested for stealing Pelosi's laptop during the Capitol breach and plotting to sell it to Russia
Prosecutors are worried that the woman who allegedly stole the laptop of Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Capitol attack may be trying to destroy evidence.
The Department of Justice told a judge that they were concerned that one of the alleged rioters, Riley June Williams, was using the internet to tamper with evidence, CBS Philly reported. Prosecutors alleged that the 22-year-old deleted her social media accounts and messages in relation to the siege of the U.S. Capitol in the failed attempt to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Furthermore, prosecutors also believe Williams has been trying to influence witnesses.
Scott MacFarlane, an investigative reporter for NBC4, reported that the DOJ requested that the judge restrict Williams’ access to the internet. Prosecutors also wanted a search of her home and car in order to enforce compliance with any order.
“US Justice Dept tells judge Riley Williams, woman accused of stealing computer from Nancy Pelosi’s office, is suspected of using internet in recent days, encouraging people to destroy evidence in Capitol insurrection case. They want judge to prohibit internet access,’ MacFarlane tweeted on Monday.
According to McFarlane, the judge questioned why prosecutors did not want to detain Willams in another hearing held on Tuesday. The DOJ demurred, apparently not wanting to reveal further specifics of their investigation. The judge labeled the case as “shocking,” but it did not seem he would rule that Williams be taken into custody.
As theGrio reported, Williams was arrested for theft, obstruction, and trespassing, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Video from the attack appeared to show her telling other rioters to go “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs.”
She is alleged to have stolen Pelosi’s HP laptop and had plans to sell it to Russia. Williams’s ex-boyfriend turned her into the FBI but she said, through her lawyer that she was fleeing his abuse, not the authorities when she remained at large in the days after the siege.
Her lawyer also stated that she was acting under the direction of former President Donald Trump. After the election, Trump falsely claimed election fraud and spoke at a rally before the Capitol breach in which he repeated the baseless claims.
“It is regrettable that Ms. Williams took the president’s bait and went inside the Capitol,” Lori Ulrich, Williams’ federal public defender told the judge last week.
Though U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson admonished Williams for the crimes she was facing, he ultimately freed her into the custody of her mother.
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