US Capitol riots: Trump supporter arrested after Pelosi ‘data theft’

A Donald Trump supporter suspected of stealing a laptop or hard drive from Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s office during the US Capitol riots has been arrested.

Riley June Williams, 22, was detained in Pennsylvania on charges of violently and illegally entering the building, and disorderly conduct.

A former romantic partner had said in an affidavit Ms Williams intended to sell the data to Russian intelligence.

Five people died after a pro-Trump mob stormed Congress on 6 January.

Ms Williams’ case is among more than 200 that have been opened since the president’s supporters forced their way into the Capitol building as lawmakers met to confirm Joe Biden’s election win.

Ms Williams was arrested on Monday in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, police records show.

Riley June Williams, FBI handout
image captionAllegations against Ms Williams were made by a former partner in an affidavit

Ms Williams had surrendered herself to authorities, sources told CBS News.

The charge sheet lists “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds”.

It makes no mention of the data allegations. The FBI is reportedly still investigating these claims, which were carried in a sworn statement presented by an FBI agent to a court.

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The affidavit says Ms Williams was seen in TV footage directing crowds who stormed the Capitol.

The FBI agent in the court filing says the agency was tipped off by a former romantic partner of Ms Williams who alleged she had intended to take a laptop or hard drive from the office of Ms Pelosi, the Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The witness “stated that Williams 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”, the affidavit said.

The transfer of the device “fell through for unknown reasons”, the witness is alleged to have said, “and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it”.

Ms Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, tweeted two days after the attack that a laptop had been stolen from the speaker’s office but it was only used to give presentations.

The affidavit goes on to give details of an ITV News report from inside the Capitol building at the time of the siege, in which a woman identified as Ms Williams can be seen and heard directing the crowd to go up a staircase that leads to Ms Pelosi’s office.

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second ITV News report some days later has an interview with Ms Williams’ mother at their home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in which she confirmed her daughter was the woman in the TV footage. She said her daughter had left home without saying where she was going.

Security is tight ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday amid fears of further attacks by far-right groups and others who believe President Trump’s unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him.

Biden blasts Trump supporters’ ‘siege’ of Capitol

US President-elect Joe Biden has blasted the “insurrection” of pro-Trump rioters who stormed the US Capitol and demanded an end to their “siege”.

The Democrat called on outgoing President Donald Trump to “step up” and repudiate the violence.

In a tweeted video, Mr Trump repeated debunked claims the vote was “stolen”, but urged protesters to “go home”.

A joint session of Congress confirming electoral college votes has been suspended and forced into recess.

Mr Biden said: “I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfil his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.

“To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices on the floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly elected officials.

“It’s not protest; it’s insurrection.”

US Congress in turmoil as Trump supporters breach building

Thousands of supporters of US President Donald Trump have breached the Capitol, where lawmakers were meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

In dramatic scenes, demonstrators swarmed near the building, as Congress members were escorted out by police.

A joint session of Congress had been counting and confirming electoral college votes but has been suspended and forced into recess.

There are reports of guns drawn in the building and at least one person shot.

A woman was reported to be in a critical condition after receiving a neck injury.

There has been an armed confrontation at the doors of the House of Representatives. Tear gas is reported to have been used.

Protesters were seen marching through the building chanting “We want Trump” and one was photographed in the Senate president’s chair.

A citywide curfew has been declared from 18:00 to 06:00 (23:00 to 11:00 GMT) by Washington DC’s mayor.

Trump’s disruptive legacy

By Laura Trevelyan, BBC News, Washington DC

It’s a wildly dramatic day on Capitol Hill, Shakespearean in scope.

In the dying days of the Trump administration, the fuming president, unable to accept that he’s lost an election, has ordered his faithful followers to march on Congress, as lawmakers certify Joe Biden’s win and loyalist Republicans try to disrupt that process.

Sirens are wailing outside Capitol Hill, and police are swarming everywhere – camouflaged tactical officers are the latest to arrive.

From within the chamber and outside, the party of Trump in its different factions is chanting stop the steal. Mr Trump’s angry and disappointed supporters have quite literally stormed the citadel, breaching the US Capitol building which is now locked down. 

It’s a frightening atmosphere, with police massing on the scene, sirens wailing, people chanting “USA” and screaming at law enforcement. All this as Mr Trump’s loyal vice-president and his Senate majority leader desert him at the 11th hour, and refuse to abandon their adherence to the constitution and subvert the election result. 

Not since Herbert Hoover in 1932 has a president lost the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. This alarming scene in Washington as the world watches is Mr Trump’s disruptive legacy.

It’s a tense and volatile atmosphere, and not what a peaceful transfer of power looks like.

What were the protesters targeting?

A joint session of Congress was being held to certify Mr Biden’s election victory on 3 November.

The proceedings are usually brief and ceremonial but Republican lawmakers have been objecting to some results.

Police inside Capitol building
image captionPolice have been taking up position inside the Capitol building

For days Mr Trump had also been putting pressure on Vice-President Mike Pence, who is presiding over the session, to block certification of the result.

But in a letter to Congress on Wednesday, Mr Pence said that he had no “unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted”.

The protesters arrived at the Capitol from a “Save America Rally”, where Mr Trump had urged them to support those legislators opposing Mr Biden’s confirmation. captionTrump: “If [Pence] doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much”

Mr Trump has refused to concede the 3 November election, repeatedly alleging fraud without providing any evidence.

On Wednesday, he said again: “We will never give up. We will never concede.”

He has also tried to throw doubt on the integrity of Tuesday’s Senate run-off votes in the southern, traditionally Republican, state of Georgia. Projections by US TV networks suggest the Democrats have won one of the seats and are neck-and-neck for the second seat.

If the Democrats win both they will gain effective control of the Senate – something that will help Mr Biden push forward his agenda after he is inaugurated as president on 20 January.

About 150 NDC supporters involved in another accident

A KIA truck full of supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been involved in a near-fatal accident.

Information reaching suggests the incident occurred at Brohane junction in the Tain district of the Ahafo Region. 

The supporters, numbering about 150, were said to be travelling for a party programme at Kabruno at Banda Central.

Reports indicate that the supporters were travelling in a sprinter bus and the KIA truck.

Witnesses explain the truck’s tyre burst, causing it to somersault and eventually throwing occupants into a nearby gutter.

The driver of the sprinter bus, who was leading the journey, told Adom News he disembarked his passengers to convey the victims to the hospital.

The victims were conveyed to the Nsorkor Hospital, but, patients had to be administered treatment on the floor as the hospital run out of beds due to the large numbers. 

Two persons are said to be in critical condition and have been referred to the Techiman Holy Family Hospital.


Ejura: NDC Executives to visit families of six deceased supporters

National executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), will today, Sunday, November 23, 2020, visit families of the six-party supporters who lost their lives in a road crash at Ejura in the Ashanti region.

This was disclosed by the presidential candidate former President John Dramani Mahama in an interview on Class Tv.

Mr. Mahama indicated the party will actively participate in the funeral ceremony of the bereaved families and also put in steps to support the families.

The former president on Saturday announced that the party will foot the medical bills of persons who were injured in the gory accident at Frante in the Ashanti Region.

The accident claimed the lives of six supporters of the umbrella family and left 50 others with injuries.

The accident occurred at Frante, a community within the Ejura Sekyeredumase municipality.

The supporters were on their way to Ejura to engage the presidential candidate on his tour of the region.

Mr. Mahama said: “We didn’t hear good news this evening. I and the team have gone to the Ejura Government Hospital to console with our brothers and sister who were involved in the unfortunate accident with some losing their lives and others injured. I wanted to call this rally off but our National Chairman says due to the number of persons here waiting for us, it won’t be respectful.”

“It will serve as an honour for our brothers and sisters in this accident and motivate us to work hard for victory in the 2020 polls. We send our condolences to the families of the lost ones and have also left money to take care of those who got injured,” he said.

By: Kwamed2k

NDC and NPP supporters in Jamestown clash after peace walk

A peace walk by supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) turned violent in Jamestown in the Odododiodio constituency on Sunday morning.

In a number of video clips widely shared on social media platforms, it showed supporters of the two main parties throwing bottles as well as hauling stones and insults at each other.

Sources say the fight was intense on the ‘Atta Mills Highway’ at a popular junction known as ‘One Way’.

It is not clear what spark the supporters of incumbent NDC MP, Nii Lante Vanderpuye and NPP’s Nii Lante Bannerman to start violent exchanges.

According to the police, both parties have written their statements about what started the violence. So far, the number of injured persons is yet to be confirmed.

The Odododiodio Constituency has 50 hotspots per the Ghana Police Service’s latest assessments of flashpoints in the country as the December election approaches.

It has a history of electoral violence over the years.

In September 2016, a lady supporter of the NDC was stabbed at Bukom Square as chaos broke out during a political debate.

The supporters had gathered at the Bukom Square to cheer on their respective candidates who were taking part in a parliamentary debate by the Accra-based radio station, 3FM when tempers flared.

Several others from both parties sustained various degrees of injury.

The windscreen of at least two cars was also smashed. No arrest was made.