FBI searching for woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi’s office during Capitol siege

FBI searching for woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi’s office during Capitol siege
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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The FBI is reportedly searching for a woman alleged to have stolen a laptop or hard drive from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

In an affidavit filed late Sunday night, a woman named Riley June Williams is alleged to have stolen a piece of equipment, and may be intending to sell it to Russian spies.

According to Politico, Williams, who is said to be from Pennsylvania, was captured in footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection in an area of the Capitol near Pelosi’s office. She can be seen directing the crowd and entering the speaker’s office.

“It appears that Williams has fled,” the affidavit notes. “According to local law enforcement officers in Harrisburg, Williams’ mother stated that Williams packed a bag and left her home and told her mother she would be gone for a couple of weeks. Williams did not provide her mother any information about her intended destination.” 

Conflicting reports previously indicated that Williams was already in FBI custody, while others suggested her whereabouts were currently unknown. According to KRON 4, “Williams remains missing and is wanted by the FBI. She is facing several charges related to the incident.”

BuzzFeed News, which posted still images of a video from the Capitol insurrection, pointed to a woman who matches Williams’ description. In the still images, the woman identified as Williams can be seen wearing a brown coat and green sweater. She is carrying a zebra-print tote bag, and appears to be physically directing crowds towards a staircase while yelling the words “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs.” The FBI says that Pelosi’s office is located in the area upstairs. 

The FBI affidavit states that a witness described as a “former romantic partner” identified Williams in the video, and called the FBI tip line to warn them of her actions. The individual said that Williams discussed stealing a piece of hardware from Pelosi’s office, either a hard drive or full laptop, and that she intended to sell the device to foreign agents through a friend in Russia. However, Williams does not appear to have made contact with any handlers.

Speaking to the press, an aide to Speaker Pelosi said that a laptop was stolen from her office in the storming of the Capitol. She said that the laptop was “used for presentations” and was situated in a conference room in Pelosi’s office suite. 

Another member of Congress, Sen. Jeff Merkley, stated that a laptop was also stolen from his office in a video posted on Twitter. Reuters reports that the incident alarmed security officials, who are concerned that “national security equities” had gotten into the wrong hands. 

“What else might have been taken during the chaos is not yet known. Some information technology experts worry that intruders may have planted malicious software on computers, although it’s not clear that devices were the focus of any particular attention,” Reuters reports.

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