Nov 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pennsylvania woman convicted of storming Pelosi's office on Jan. 6

Photo of Riley Williams at the Jan. 6 insurrection on the left and her mug shot on the right

Photo: FBI

A Pennsylvania woman who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D) office was convicted Monday.

Driving the news: A federal jury convicted Riley Williams, 23, on six of the eight counts against her but deadlocked on the two charges that carried the most weight in the case: aiding and abetting in the theft of a laptop from Pelosi's office as well as obstruction of Congress' official proceedings.

  • She was found guilty of impeding police officers in their attempt to defend the Capitol and participating in a civil disorder, among other charges.
  • Prosecutors must decide whether to retry her on the remaining two charges. She will be sentenced in February.
  • U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Williams immediately remanded to federal prison, siding with prosecutors who said she presents a flight risk given her readiness to flee and cover her tracks after Jan. 6.
  • "She was profane. She was obnoxious. She was threatening," Jackson said, per Politico. "She organized others to forcibly resist."

How it happened: The Department of Justice alleged that Williams is the woman featured in a video saying, "dude, put on gloves," before a man's gloved hand reaches for Pelosi's laptop. She had told people she planned to sell the stolen item to Russia, according to prosecutors.

  • Her defense lawyer Lori Ulrich countered during the trial that she hadn't taken the laptop and instead lied to her friends about what happened because she "wanted to be somebody."
  • Ulrich attempted to portray Williams as a naive girl who entered the Capitol unarmed wearing fuzzy boots and carrying a zebra print backpack — a stark contrast to Oath Keepers wearing tactical gear.
  • As such, Ulrich made the case that Williams should only be convicted "for what she did " — disorderly conduct and parading in the Capitol.
  • Video footage shows, however, that she took an active role in resisting police and organizing other rioters to lock arms and force the police line backward. The DOJ also said she urged people to go up a set of stairs toward Pelosi's office.

The big picture: Williams is one of over 900 people arrested in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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