NOS News•Friday, 10:01
A 24-year-old American woman from Pennsylvania has been sentenced to three years in prison for her part in the storming of the Capitol in January 2021. Riley June Williams boasted, among other things, that she brought the gavel from then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
She was also instigator of a group of rioters and was charged with, among other things, complicity in the theft of a laptop from Pelosi’s office, but was not convicted.
Williams had already been convicted by a jury last November on other charges, including resisting and obstructing officers who tried to stop the invaders at the Capitol. The jury was then unable to determine whether she had a part in the theft of Pelosi’s laptop.
Prosecutors had asked the U.S. District Judge to sentence Williams to seven years and three months in prison. They said she incited the rioters during the storming.
“Wherever she went, Williams acted as a catalyst, increasing the chaos. Where others turned, she kept pushing,” the prosecutors wrote. the official report.
Defense attorneys sought a one-year and one-day prison sentence for Williams, who was 22 years old on January 6, 2021. The twenty-something first visited the Stop the Steal-rally of Trump with her father and his friends and then walk towards the Capitol.
According to the prosecution, she used men in helmets and body armor as “human battering rams” and pushed them forward to break through police lines in the Capitol. Once inside, she allegedly took a gavel from Pelosi’s office and encouraged another rioter to grab a laptop from the table.
‘Handover to Russian individuals’
Williams filmed the theft and can be heard instructing the rioter to put on gloves when he touches the laptop and its cords, prosecutors wrote. She ended up being in the Capitol for an hour and a half. According to prosecutors, she destroyed evidence before her arrest, deleted her social media accounts, reset her iPhone and used software to wipe her computer.
Williams boasted online that she stole Pelosi’s gavel, laptop and hard drives and that she intended to give the data carriers “to unspecified Russian individuals,” prosecutors said in a June 2022 lawsuit.
She would have wanted to use a friend in Russia for this, which she had to sell to the Russian intelligence service SVR. The transfer fell through for unknown reasons, an ex-lover previously told the FBI. To date, the laptop and gavel have not been found.
Supervised for three years
After Williams has served the three years in prison, she will be under supervision for another three years. During that time she is not allowed to contact Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist with whom she became obsessed, according to prosecutors.
About 900 people have been arrested in connection with the storming of the US Capitol and there are still more hundreds of arrests in the making. The Justice Department has asked Congress for more financial resources to bring all suspects to justice.