Riley June Williams, the 22-year-old woman, who was accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the Capitol siege then tried to sell it to Russians was released on house arrest.
The decision to release Williams came after a federal hearing on Thursday morning where the judge ordered her release to the custody of her mother where she will remain on house arrest and be tracked with an ankle monitor.
“You are being released today because the Constitution has prevailed,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson said. “I share that thought with you, as you leave here today, that your freedom, conditioned as it is by the orders that I’ve entered, is a result of the prevailing of the Constitution. And I’ll leave you with this final thought Ms. Williams: The Constitution prevails here today, and the Constitution will always prevail in this country.”
Judge Carlson said Williams has no prior criminal record, but noted that “the gravity of these offenses is great, it cannot be overstated.”
FBI officials said in a court filing that a witness claiming to be Williams’ ex said friends of hers showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. The caller alleged that she “intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service.” That plan fell through for unknown reasons and she either has the device or has destroyed it.
The FBI is investigating whether Williams intended to sell the device to Russia.
In court, attorneys for Williams argue that her ex-boyfriend “overstated the accusations” that are listed in the criminal complaint.
Williams is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.
She will appear in federal court again on Monday to continue her case.