Woman convicted of storming Pelosi’s office in Jan. 6 attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pennsylvania girl linked to the far-right “Groyper” extremist motion was convicted Monday of a number of federal expenses after prosecutors mentioned she was a part of a gaggle that stormed Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s workplace through the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Riley June Williams was discovered responsible of six federal counts, together with civil dysfunction. However the jury deadlocked on two different expenses, together with “aiding and abetting the theft” of a laptop computer that was stolen from Pelosi’s workplace suite through the revolt. The jury additionally failed to achieve a unanimous verdict on whether or not Williams obstructed an official continuing.

Williams joined a mob’s assault on the Capitol after attending the “Cease the Steal” rally, the place then-President Donald Trump addressed hundreds of supporters earlier that day. Getting into Pelosi’s workplace, she discovered a laptop computer on a desk and instructed one other rioter, “Dude, placed on gloves,” earlier than somebody with a black gloved hand eliminated the pc, in line with prosecutors.

Williams later bragged on-line that she stole Pelosi’s gavel, laptop computer and exhausting drives and that she “gave the digital gadgets, or tried to provide them, to unspecified Russian people,” prosecutors mentioned in a June 2022 courtroom submitting.

“Thus far, neither the laptop computer nor the gavel has been recovered,” they added.

A witness described as a former romantic associate of Williams instructed the FBI that she meant to ship the stolen laptop computer or exhausting drive to a good friend in Russia who deliberate to promote it to Russia’s overseas intelligence service. However the witness mentioned Williams saved the machine or destroyed it when the switch fell via, in line with an FBI agent’s affidavit.

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Williams, a resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested lower than two weeks after the riot. She was charged with theft of presidency property, assaulting police and obstructing the joint session of Congress for certifying the Electoral Faculty vote. Williams additionally confronted misdemeanor expenses, together with disorderly or disruptive conduct.

Williams denied stealing the laptop computer when the FBI questioned her. She claimed her ex-boyfriend “made up” the allegation, prosecutors mentioned.

Earlier than she left the Capitol, Williams joined different rioters in pushing towards law enforcement officials attempting to clear the constructing’s Rotunda. Police physique digital camera captured the confrontation, as Williams inspired different rioters to “maintain pushing,” and “push, push, push.”

Williams was carrying a shirt bearing the message, “I’m with groyper,” when she entered the Capitol. The time period “groyper” refers to followers of “America First” motion chief Nick Fuentes, who has used his on-line platform to spew antisemitic and white supremacist rhetoric.

Different followers of Fuentes have been charged with Jan. 6-related crimes, together with former UCLA scholar Christian Secor, 24, of Costa Mesa, California. Secor, who was waving an “America First” flag when he entered the Capitol, was sentenced final month to 3 years and 6 months in jail.

Williams’ on-line footprint additionally included materials related to “accelerationism,” a violent ideology that asserts “Western governments are corrupt and unsalvageable, and due to this fact the perfect factor an individual can do is speed up their collapse by sowing social chaos and producing political battle,” prosecutors mentioned.

In December 2020, Williams attended no less than two rallies protesting the result of the presidential election. Each rallies featured speeches by Fuentes.

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“Her admiration of Nick Fuentes, self-identification as a ‘Groyper,’ perception in Accelerationism, and assist for violence all circumstantially present the blended motives behind her actions on January 6: she not solely particularly sought to dam Congress from certifying the Electoral Faculty vote, but additionally to undermine and hinder the federal government extra usually,” prosecutors wrote.

Earlier than her trial, Williams’ attorneys questioned the relevance of her political actions and beliefs.

“There isn’t any proof linking her beliefs and actions previous to January 6 together with her actions that day,” they wrote. “There’s a legit threat that jurors will decide Ms. Williams merely for the unpopular and excessive ideologies she has embraced previously, fairly than for the precise crimes with which she is charged.”