FBI investigating whether woman took Pelosi laptop, tried to sell it to Russians
The FBI is investigating whether a woman who took a laptop belonging to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol tried to sell it to Russians.
Bureau investigators said in a court filing on Sunday that it received a tip from someone claiming to be a former romantic partner of Riley June Williams. The caller directed the agency to a 32-minute video from inside the Capitol posted to ITV News.
The witness also said friends of Williams showed them a video of her taking a laptop or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. The witness told the FBI 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,” according to the court filing.
The transfer fell through for unknown reasons, according to the affidavit, and Williams either “still has the computer device or destroyed it. This matter remains under investigation.”
According to the affidavit, Williams apparently fled a home in Pennsylvania that she shares with her mother, changed her phone number and deleted her social media accounts sometime after the riot.
ITV News’s video allegedly shows Williams, wearing a green T-shirt and brown trench coat, directing others to proceed up a staircase that led to Pelosi’s office, authorities said. Separate footage shows Williams entering the Capitol from outside.
Williams is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
More than 100 arrests have taken place in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol that led to five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer. Multiple videos of Trump supporters overtaking the Capitol show rioters inside Pelosi’s office.
A couple days later, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said that a laptop from a conference room that was only used for presentations was stolen, though it’s unclear if the laptop referred to by authorities in Williams’s case is the same device.
A spokesperson for Pelosi didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on the matter.