Ron Johnson and a core number of GOP senators does the bidding of Russia for what seems to be the reasons that Kevin McCarthy attributed to Dana Rohrabacher and Donald Trump: Putin pays them. Russia seemed to be on Riley Williams’s mind when she indicated that she wanted to sell Nancy Pelosi’s laptop to Russians.

Video has surfaced of Riley Williams, a 22-year-old from Pennsylvania who is facing charges for her part in the US Capitol riot, making a Nazi salute.

On January 6, 2021, Riley June Williams, a 22-year-old home care worker from Pennsylvania, was one of roughly 800 rioters who breached the US Capitol building in Washington D.C. While many engaged in property damage and violence that day, Williams’ case stands out given her ex-partner has alleged to the FBI that she stole a laptop from Nancy Pelosi’s office.

This former boyfriend also alleges that her goal was to sell the laptop to a Russian intelligence agency, a claim January court documents say “remains under investigation,” but which has been denied by Williams’ lawyer who accuses the former partner of seeking revenge.

While Williams has not been charged with stealing the laptop itself, something she also denies, she faces multiple charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds as well aiding/abetting others to “embezzle, steal, purloin.”

Footage from January 6 released by ITV News shows Williams urging rioters upstairs towards Congressional offices. In one video from inside Pelosi’s office, a voice that the FBI states it believes to be Williams’ says “dude, put on gloves” before a gloved hand takes a laptop from a table. The affidavit links to a thread of captured Discord posts from a user named Riley bragging, “STOLE SHITT FROM NANCY POLESI [sic]”.…



There are three channels of Russian disinformation that have apparently affected Sen. Johnson’s Ukraine-related investigations.

Channel 1. Russian-linked Ukrainian operatives communicating directly with Sen. Johnson and his staff.

Channel 2. Russian-linked Ukrainian operatives spreading disinformation via media outlets, which have been picked up and expressly relied upon by Sen. Johnson.

Channel 3. Russian-linked Ukrainian operatives providing information via “Team [Rudy] Giuliani.”…


The Ultranationalists harbored a syncretic ideology combining Soviet-era nostalgia and communist symbology (with certain factions advocating for socialist economics) with ethnic and religious nationalism, populism, militarism, xenophobia, irridentism and revanchism.

It cannot be overstated just how deeply Team Putin understands all of this. The red star and the red flag have re-appeared, neither explicitly encouraged nor discouraged by the federal government, but Putin’s political technologists still capture and draw upon the iconographic power of Soviet symbols with great skill – they understand perfectly well that a lot of punters will bring the red flags to the party. The public celebrations of the 2nd anniversary of Crimea’s re-unification with Russia in March could have been a Soviet festival – during the concert given in Simferopol by the band of the Sevastopol Black Sea fleet and the Kuban Cossacks Choir, Lenin Square was awash with Soviet regalia. People who have never lived in Russia might not fully grasp the extent to which, as a civic faith, the Soviet Union still exists.


It would be simplistic to see this as mere “manipulation” of the masses by Putin and his image-makers, because that term would at least loosely imply that Putin’s political constituency was unaware of the story’s manifold subtexts. On the contrary, sophisticated Russians (at least) would regard the above analysis of Putin’s story as banal – they are perfectly well aware of the buttons which are being pressed and, by and large, they happen to like the couched ideological narrative very much. Ortho-Sovietism is the synthetic civic faith which secures their commitment, and Putin is its political expression.…

  • March 1, 2021