The lawyer for the woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi's laptop says a vengeful ex made it up

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Ashley Collman
·3 min read
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riley june williams nancy pelosi 1
Riley June Williams (left) is suspected of stealing a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) during the Capitol riot. AP/Getty
  • Riley June Williams, 22, has been accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the Capitol riot.

  • But her lawyer told BuzzFeed News that the allegation isn't true and was made by a vengeful ex.

  • Williams is currently under house arrest. A judge ruled to restrict her internet access on Wednesday.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The lawyer of the 22-year-old woman accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the January 6 Capitol riot has told BuzzFeed News that she didn't steal it and that the allegation was made up by a vengeful ex.

Riley June Williams currently faces four charges in connection to the Capitol breach, including aiding and abetting others to embezzle, steal, or purloin. Pelosi's deputy chief of staff previously said the stolen laptop was only used for presentations.

The affidavit against Williams, compiled by an FBI special agent, stated that a "former romantic partner" told the agency that Williams stole the laptop and planned to sell it to Russia's foreign intelligence agency, but that somehow the deal had fallen through and Williams either still had the device or destroyed it.

The laptop still has not been found, even after a search of Williams' house and car, her public defender, A.J. Kramer, said Tuesday.

department of justice riley williams
The FBI used footage from ITV News to identify Williams in the Capitol Building. The footage shows her telling people to go upstairs, where Pelosi's office is located. Department of Justice

Kramer said at the hearing that the ex who ratted on Williams "vowed revenge" on her "for various things," according to BuzzFeed.

After the hearing, Kramer told BuzzFeed News that Williams denies all of the accusations against her, including the theft. Kramer added that he "thinks" Williams never had the laptop in the first place.

However, according to the FBI affidavit, Williams appeared to have boasted about stealing items from Pelosi's office, including hard drives, in a post on the social-media network Discord.

A person named "riley" had posted: "I STOLE S--- FROM NANCY POLESI" and "I DOMT CARE I TOOK NANCY POLESIS HARD DRIVES."

doj pelosi laptop screenshot
Screenshots of posts by a person named "riley" about taking Pelosi's items. Justice Department

The affidavit also included descriptions of a livestream recorded by Williams, showing a set of hands grabbing a laptop off a congressional desk, while the person suspected to be Williams tells another person to "put on gloves."

Read more: Trump tested the Constitution and shredded traditions. Biden and the Democrats have big plans of their own about what to do next.

Williams' previous public defender blamed then-President Donald Trump for encouraging Williams and other protesters to trespass on the Capitol.

The purpose of Tuesday's hearing was to set the rules for Williams' house arrest. She was released from jail and put on home confinement at her mother's Pennsylvania home last week.

Justice Department lawyers argued for Williams' access to the internet to be taken away completely, after finding evidence that she was deleting her social media accounts and telling others to delete communications about the riot.

US Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui agreed that these allegations were concerning, but said he may need to "heavily discount" the ex's account since it appears they may have had "an axe to grind."

Faruqui ultimately ruled on Tuesday that Williams' access to the internet be limited. She will only be able to use her mother's iPad to communicate with her lawyer and mental-health professionals, under her mother's supervision.

She must also get a flip phone, ABC 27 reported.

Read the criminal complaint against Williams below»

Read the original article on Business Insider