FBI Investigating 'Empathetic And Loving' Woman For Rioting, Stealing Nancy Pelosi's Laptop
The FBI is currently on the lookout for 22-year-old Riley June Williams of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who allegedly stole Nancy Pelosi's laptop or hard drive while storming the Capitol on January 6, supposedly for the purpose of selling it to Russian intelligence.
Williams came to the attention of law enforcement after a former romantic partner saw her in an ITV documentary about the storming of the Capitol. The ex, referred to in the complaint affidavit as WI, had also seen videos from other people who knew Williams, in which she was seen stealing Pelosi's "laptop computer or hard drive" (that's how the complaint reads) from Pelosi's office. Law enforcement sent officers to Williams's mother's house, where her mother told them her daughter had packed a bag and fled.
Since then, Williams has deleted social media accounts from "Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler" and changed her phone number.
ITV reporters interviewed Williams's mother, who explained that her daughter had recently become very pro-Trump and enjoyed participating in "far-right message boards," while still insisting that "[s]he's a 22-year-old who [is] very empathetic and loving."
"Empathetic and loving." Seems like I should probably mention here that the skull mask Williams is wearing in the main picture, where she is also holding an assault rifle, is traditionally worn by members of the white supremacist neo-Nazi organization, Atomwaffen Division. But sure, she's "empathetic and loving."
Williams, who went down to Washington for the January 6 rally with her father (he says they split up for the day), appears in the ITV videos charging into various areas of the Capitol and pushing others to go further in.
According to the complaint, Williams planned to send the laptop or hard drive to a friend in Russia who was supposed to sell it to SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service, but this plan "fell through for unknown reasons." I would guess one of those reasons would be someone in that chain being full of shit, but I also assume that anyone who claims to have connections to any intelligence service is full of shit until proven otherwise. It's like the number one thing pathological liars lie about. I could be wrong, but it just would not surprise me if the Russian friend Williams thought was her "in" to sell the laptop to Russian intelligence was just some rando with delusions of grandeur.
Still, Williams is in the wind and we won't know anything until she's found, at which point she will likely be charged with pretty much the same charges as everyone else who was there and has been identified, i.e. entering a restricted building without lawful authority to do so and engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building. She is not yet being charged with the theft of Speaker Pelosi's laptop and/or hard drive.
Williams is far from the first person to be turned into law enforcement by friends or family members. Theresa Duke, the woman who got punched by the Black woman law enforcement officer whose phone she tried to steal, was identified by her own daughter. Several others have been turned in by those who know them well, and who say their parents or friends or relatives are a danger to themselves or others.
It takes a lot, I would imagine, to report someone you know and have cared about to the police, knowing they will likely face time in prison. This must have been the last straw for a whole lot of people.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse