FBI probes whether woman stole Pelosi’s laptop to sell to Russia

Riley June Williams has been charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct during the US Capitol riot.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends her weekly news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 15 [Joshua Roberts/Reuters]

The FBI is investigating whether a pro-Trump rioter stole House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop from her office and attempted to sell it to a Russian intelligence service, according to court documents.

According to an affidavit from FBI Agent Jonathan Lund, Riley June Williams of Pennsylvania breached the Capitol with other far-right rioters on January 6 and was seen throughout the US seat of government in open source videos and news reporting.

Lund said an unnamed witness claiming to be Williams’s “former romantic partner” made “several” phone calls to the FBI’s tip line in the days following the Capitol occupation.

The witness claimed Williams was inside Pelosi’s office and took either a laptop or a hard drive 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”.

Lund says in the complaint Williams can be seen moving up the stairs that lead to Pelosi’s office. However, “the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons” and Williams “still has the computer device or destroyed it”.

A woman identified in a warrant logged January 17, 2021, by the FBI as Riley June Williams, a Pennsylvania woman accused of unlawfully breaching the US Capitol building and directing people to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, is seen in an undated driver’s license photograph [FBI/Handout via Reuters]

The matter remains under investigation and Williams, who has reportedly fled, is facing separate charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

The complaint alleges Williams was identified as recently becoming interested in President Donald Trump’s politics and far-right message boards by her mother in an ITV news report. Trump was impeached for a second time in his presidency for “inciting” the riot.

Further, Pelosi aid Drew Hammill said on Twitter the laptop stolen was from the conference room and only used for presentations, raising doubts about how desirable its contents would be.

Source: Al Jazeera