The FBI is reportedly on the hunt for the woman who may have stolen a laptop or hard drive from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office during the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol and are concerned she may be looking to sell it to the Russians, according to an affidavit filed late Sunday night.
In perhaps the most bizarre case to come out of the Captiol attack yet, the FBI are looking for Riley June Williams, ” a Pennsylvania woman who was seen in footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection in area of the Capitol near Pelosi’s office,” directing the crowd and, eventually, entering the Speaker’s office, according to Politico.
“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 emerged Monday, some indicating that Williams was in FBI custody and others indicating that Williams’ whereabouts were currently unknown. Local media claims “Williams remains missing and is wanted by the FBI. She is facing several charges related to the incident.”
Those charges include “entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct,” per Buzzfeed News.
Buzzfeed, which has still images from a video from the Capitol attack that was posted to social media, pinpointed a woman who matches Williams’ description. She is seen wearing a brown coat and a green sweater, and is carrying a zebra-print tote bag. In the video, she is “reportedly physically directing crowds toward a staircase,” while yelling “‘upstairs, upstairs, upstairs.’” The stairway, the FBI says, leads up to Pelosi’s office.
The FBI’s affidavit indicates that a witness, a “former romantic partner,” identified Williams in the video and called the FBI tipline to warn authorities that Williams had discussed removing a piece of technology from Pelosi’s office — either a hard drive or a full laptop — and that Williams was looking to pass the device off to foreign agents through a friend in Russia. Williams, it seems, never managed to sync up with her contacts.
“[Witness 1] stated 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,” the affidavit notes. “According to [Witness 1], the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and WILLIAMS still has the computer device or destroyed it.”
A Congressional aide told media on Friday, January 8th — two days after the riot — that a laptop “used for presentations” had been stolen from a conference room in Pelosi’s office suite. It is not clear whether that laptop is the same one mentioned in the FBI’s brief.
CONGRESSIONAL AIDE TO SPEAKER PELOSI SAYS LAPTOP WAS STOLEN FROM HER OFFICE IN STORMING OF CAPITOL WEDNESDAY @Reuters
— Heather Timmons (@HeathaT) January 8, 2021
Another member of Congress, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), also “said on Twitter that a laptop was taken from his office,” according to Reuters. The incidents reportedly had security officials concerned that “national security equities” had fallen into the wrong hands.
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