CNN

Woman who barged into Pelosi’s office in Jan. 6 attack convicted

Nov 21, 2022, 5:30 PM
Riley Williams, a Pennsylvania woman who barged into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's offices on Januar...
Riley Williams, a Pennsylvania woman who barged into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's offices on January 6, 2021, was found guilty on November 21 of multiple counts she faced over the Capitol attack. (DOJ)
(DOJ)

(CNN) — Riley Williams, a Pennsylvania woman who barged into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s offices on January 6, 2021, was found guilty on Monday of multiple counts she faced over the Capitol attack.

Williams was found guilty of six of the eight counts she was charged with, including assaulting or resisting an officer and disorderly conduct in the Capitol.

A mistrial was declared on two of the remaining counts, including the government’s charge that Riley had aided and abetted in the theft of a laptop from Pelosi’s office. The jury also could not come to a unanimous decision on the charge of obstructing the certification of the electoral college, which carried a maximum sentence of 20 years.

This is the first time a jury has not convicted a January 6 Capitol defendant of each count charged.

Williams was detained following her conviction Monday, taking off her plaid tie before a Deputy US Marshal took her away.

In agreeing with the Justice Department’s request that Williams be immediately locked up, Judge Amy Berman Jackson heavily reprimanded Williams and her actions on January 6.

“She was profane, she was obnoxious and she was threatening,” Jackson said of Williams.

“This is a person who was packed and ready to flee once before,” the judge added, saying that Williams’ father had offered her places to hide in the wake of the Capitol attack.

Prosecutors say they are still determining whether to retry the case against Williams on the charges of obstruction and aiding and abetting in the laptop theft.

“I don’t want to go to jail,” Williams said to her attorney Lori Ulrich, who told Williams as she was being taken away “You won. Riley, remember that. You won,” referring to the two counts the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on.

During the trial prosecutors argued that while Williams, a 23-year-old with long amber hair, didn’t appear dangerous she in fact stirred up the mob, recruited and coordinated rioters to attack police and directed others to steal the laptop from Pelosi’s office.

“Looks can be deceiving but evidence is not,” prosecutor Michael Gordon told the jury.

During the trial, multiple videos were played of Riley — some of which she shared with people she knew online who gave them to law enforcement agents — inside of Pelosi’s offices allegedly yelling “take the f**king laptop” as well as pushing against officers in the Capitol with her back.

The laptop was primarily used for conference videos and did not contain sensitive information, prosecutors said.

Videos of Pelosi’s office during the Capitol attack showed an overturned table and broken window, rioters rummaging around, taking selfies and videos — bragging that they had reached the speaker’s office. “Where’s Nancy?” members of the mob could be heard asking, over and over again.

Ulrich told the jury that what her client did on January 6 “was wrong,” but said she was young and simply “a girl wanting to be a somebody.”

According to prosecutors, Williams was “consumed” by far-right white nationalist Nick Fuentes — whose internet show “she watched obsessively” — and the Stop the Steal movement, attending rallies in the lead up to January 6.

After the riot, Williams bragged to people on the social media platform Discord that she had stolen the laptop and a gavel from the speaker’s office, none of which was true, her attorneys said.

“Riley Williams lived in a fantasy world of sorts,” Ulrich said of her client’s online presence, where she messaged people she had never met about her alleged exploits that day, much of which was made up, according to her attorney.

Williams will be sentenced on February 22 and, according to prosecutors, could face two to three years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines.

This story has been updated with additional details.


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Woman who barged into Pelosi’s office in Jan. 6 attack convicted