Riley Williams, a 23-year-old woman from Pennsylvania who participated in last year’s Trump-incited attack on the Capitol, has been convicted by a jury of a slew of criminal charges stemming from her involvement — a list that includes two felony offenses.
As recapped by the Justice Department, the felonies of which Williams was convicted include interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers, both of which come with potentially years-long prison sentences if found guilty, as Williams was. During the Capitol chaos, she physically confronted police officers — pushing against them, the department says — and was among the riot participants who stormed the offices of House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Williams was also originally charged for aiding and abetting the theft of government property because of her comments to a rioter who was apparently trying to steal a laptop from a Pelosi office, but the jury was unable to come to a unanimous conclusion regarding that charge. They also failed to come to an agreement on the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding. Williams could be retried on those allegations.
Williams was immediately remanded into custody following the revelation of her guilty verdict amid concerns about whether she would even show back up and the seriousness of her offenses. At the Capitol, she was among the first inside the building — entering within minutes of the initial breach — and although her defense was evidently playing up her age, she nonetheless aggressively participated in what was going on. Williams has been identified as an at least past follower of Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist commentator who was involved in the so-called America First Political Action Conference, where Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) spoke in Florida earlier this year. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has also been involved with Fuentes’s event, and other followers of his — many of whom are on the younger side — have also already been charged in connection to the riot. Fuentes himself is only 24 years old.
At the Capitol, Williams managed to stay inside the building for over an hour. Among other notes from the Justice Department, she also threw a water bottle at police and verbally antagonized them — right on par with the actions of significantly older participants in the riot. As for Williams already heading to jail, she was “packed and ready to flee” after the chaos, federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted in court this week. “She was profane. She was obnoxious. She was threatening,” the judge added. “She organized others to forcibly resist.” The defendant “turned visibly distraught when she realized Jackson was going to send her to jail immediately,” POLITICO reported Monday. Among those who testified during the trial were an ex-boyfriend of Williams, a staff member for Pelosi, and an officer who Williams confronted in D.C.
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