The Slatest

FBI Investigating if Capitol Rioter Stole Laptop From Pelosi’s Office to Sell to Russia

Rioters are seen in the office suite of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after breaching the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
Rioters are seen in the office suite of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after breaching the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

The FBI said it is investigating claims that a woman stole a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office with the possible goal of selling the device to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. The claim, which is still under investigation, was part of an affidavit that describes the criminal case against Riley June Williams, a woman from Pennsylvania who was seen in footage of the Capitol riot. A former romantic partner of Williams told investigators that the suspect stole a laptop from Pelosi’s office and “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,” according to the affidavit. The former romantic partner went on to say that the “transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it.”

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Video from the day of the Capitol insurrection shows Williams appearing to direct fellow rioters up a staircase. That staircase leads to Pelosi’s office. It’s not clear if Williams did actually steal a laptop from Pelosi’s office. She isn’t being officially accused of theft and is facing charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, like many of those who took part in the riot. The unnamed previous romantic partner claimed there’s video showing her taking the “computer or hard drive.” And shortly after the riot, Drew Hammill, the speaker’s chief of staff, tweeted that a laptop “that was only used for presentations” was stolen from a conference room.

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For now it doesn’t seem like law enforcement has been able to detain Williams. “It appears that Williams has fled,” reads the affidavit. Williams’ mother told local law enforcement that her daughter “packed a bag and left her home” and said she would be “gone for a couple of weeks.” She appears to have changed her number and deleted her social media accounts.

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