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Harrisburg woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi's laptop during Jan. 6 riot seeks to have charge against her dropped

The lawyer for Riley Williams, 22, filed a motion on Nov. 19 seeking to have the charge of obstructing an official proceeding dismissed, court records show.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Note: The video is from Jan. 26.

The Harrisburg woman accused of stealing a laptop belonging to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6 riot at the United States Capitol is trying to get one of the charges against her dropped, court records show.

The public defender representing Riley Williams, 22, filed a motion on Nov. 19 to dismiss a charge of obstructing an official proceeding filed against her by federal law enforcement for her alleged role in the riot.

Williams' attorney argues in the motion that the disruption of the Electoral College falls outside the scope of an official proceeding.

Williams was indicted on eight charges in October. She later pleaded not guilty to all eight counts.

In May, Williams successfully petitioned the court to allow her some freedom from house arrest during the day while she awaits trial.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion from Williams' defense team asking for permission to leave her residence daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., in order to seek employment and because of the lengthy pre-trail process she was undergoing.

The indictment against Williams alleges that she attempted to interfere with an official proceeding, stole a Hewlett-Packard laptop computer located in the office of a member of the U.S. Congress, and knowingly meant to impede the orderly conduct of a session of Congress.

According to the criminal complaint released in Jan. 2021, a former romantic partner of Williams reported to law enforcement that she was depicted in video footage taken inside the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.

The caller told police that Williams can be seen directing crowds up a staircase inside the U.S. Capitol in this Youtube video. According to the criminal complaint, Williams can be seen at about 20 minutes and 40 seconds in the video, wearing a green t-shirt and brown trench coat while carrying a zebra-print bag over her shoulders.

The tipster also claimed to have spoken to friends of Williams who showed them a video of Williams taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

According to the caller, Williams had intended to sell the device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, which is Russia's foreign intelligence service.

The criminal complaint states law enforcement was able to confirm that the staircase depicted in the video does lead to Speaker Pelosi's office, and they were able to grab screenshots of the video that appears to show Williams directing and pointing intruders in a certain direction.

According to the criminal complaint, other videos obtained by the FBI also depict Williams outside the U.S. Capitol in the same clothing.

On Jan. 11, law enforcement agents in Harrisburg received a suspicious persons report from Williams' mother.

Upon arrival, police spoke with Williams' mother, who placed a video call to the suspect.

According to the affidavit, Williams appeared to be wearing a brown-colored jacket, consistent with the one she had been seen in in videos and screenshots.

On Jan. 16, police again spoke with Williams mother who said that a British media crew had visited her the night before.

She said that the crew presented her with photographs taken at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and acknowledged that Williams was depicted in the images.

On that same day, police spoke with Williams' father who said that he drove Riley Williams to Washington, D.C. for the protests on January 6.

According to the criminal complaint, Williams' father said that he and his daughter did not stay together throughout the day and that she met up with other individuals she knew at the protests.

Later that day, Williams met up with her father outside the U.S. Capitol building, and they returned to Harrisburg together.

On Jan. 16, a new video clip was posted to Youtube where a reporter identified "Riley Williams" as the person depicted in snippets of the video.

When law enforcement showed this video to Williams' mother, she positively identified her inside the U.S. Capitol building and told law enforcement that she had taken a sudden interest in President Trump's policies and "far right message boards," according to the criminal complaint.

Williams' mother told law enforcement that she "took off" after packing a bag and leaving home. She allegedly told her mother she would be "gone for a couple of weeks," but did not provide an information about her intended destination.

In the affidavit, investigators say on January 18, FBI Agents obtained several video clips depicting events that occurred in and around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

One of the videos, believed to be shot by Riley Williams, shows a man reaching for an "HP" laptop on a wooden desk with black text across the screen saying "they got the laptop". 

U.S. Capitol Police confirmed to FBI the video was taken in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and that an "HP" brand laptop was taken from the Speaker's office on Jan. 6. 

Investigators in the affidavit also say those videos were also posted to twitter by an account the witness claims Williams uses, with posts saying " I stole **** from Nancy Polesi [sic],” and “I took Polesis [sic] hard drives."

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