FBI investigating Pennsylvania woman suspected of stealing laptop from Pelosi’s office

FBI investigating Pennsylvania woman suspected of stealing laptop from Pelosi’s office

One of the far-right rioters who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6 was a 22-year-old Harrisburg, Pennsylvania woman named Riley June Williams, and according to FBI officials, she is suspected of stealing a laptop computer or removable hard drive from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and intending to sell it to someone in Russia.

An affidavit signed on Sunday, January 17 by FBI Special Agent Jonathan Lund and posted online states, "It appears that WILLIAMS has fled. 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."

Footage, Politico reporter Kyle Cheney notes, shows Williams inside Capitol building on January 6. Lund's affidavit, which was submitted to Judge Robin M. Meriweather, states that the Pennsylvania woman "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 (Witness 1)," Lund's affidavit states, "the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and WILLIAMS still has the computer device or destroyed it…. This matter remains under investigation."

Williams is facing charges of disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building.

Lund, in the affidavit, notes that he has studied a 32-minute video called "Storming the Capitol: The Inside Story," which has been posted on YouTube and aired by ITV News in the U.K. — explaining, "At or about 20 minutes and 40 seconds into the video, there appears at the bottom of a staircase the subject, believed to be WILLIAMS, a Caucasian female wearing a green t-shirt and brown trench coat and carrying a black-and-white striped zebra-print bag over her shoulders. She has brown shoulder-length hair and wears eyeglasses. She is wearing a black face mask below her chin, around her neck. She can be heard in the video repeatedly yelling, 'Upstairs, upstairs, upstairs,' and can be seen physically directing other intruders to proceed up a staircase. The video also shows a stream of intruders walking up a nearby staircase."

Cheney reports, "Williams' mother, on January 11, filed a suspicious persons report against the person the FBI has identified as 'Witness 1.' That witness is described as a former romantic partner of the suspect. While local officers were present, Williams' mother called her via video, and officers saw her wearing a brown jacket that matched the one she was seen wearing in images from the January 6 riots. Harrisburg officers also spoke with Williams' father, who said he drove with her to Washington for the protests, but that they split up for the day while she joined other friends."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.