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The Justice Department said it was concerned that the Pennsylvania woman accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the US Capitol riots might be destroying evidence — and encouraging others to do so.
Lawyers for the department said during a hearing Monday they believe Riley Williams changed her phone number and deleted her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram and Parler accounts, CBS Pittsburgh reported.
Williams, 22, was arrested on Jan. 18 after her former romantic partner accused her of taking a laptop or hard drive from Pelosi’s office with the intention of selling it to the Russians, authorities have said.
She was charged with entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to Department of Justice records.
Prosecutors previously alleged that Williams tried to delete her social media accounts — and now believe the alleged coverup continued after a federal judge authorized her release to home confinement, according to Law and Crime.
“We were aware that she was deleting her own online accounts and possibly, switching devices,” an assistant US attorney said. “That was both in the original complaint and the amended complaint statement of facts.”
After US Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson ordered her release, prosecutors claim Williams “instructed” alleged co-conspirators to also scrub their social media presence, the outlet reported.
The government has requested that the conditions of Williams’ release be amended to cut off her internet access and allow investigators to monitor her compliance, according to Law and Crime.
Williams’ defense attorney Lori Ulrich said during a federal court hearing Thursday that the accusations made by her client’s ex were “overstated.”
Ulrich said Williams had even gotten a restraining order against the man and changed her phone number — not to duck federal authorities but to escape the abusive ex.
The former boyfriend, Michael Prodanov, declined to comment to The Post last week other than to say he would present evidence “that will disprove” Williams’ claims.
The woman has acknowledged that she was part of a mob that stormed the US Capitol following a fiery speech by then-President Donald Trump prior to Congress voting to certify his election loss to Joe Biden.
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