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FBI Charges Woman Believed to Have Stolen Nancy Pelosi’s Laptop During Capitol Riot, Saying She May Have Tried to Sell Device to Russian Intelligence


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Sunday that it was investigating a Pennsylvania woman believed to have participated in the riots at the U.S. Capitol, saying she may have stolen a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and then tried to sell the device to Russia’s foreign intelligence services.

According to charging documents filed Sunday in District of Columbia federal court, a witness told the bureau that they had seen video of Riley June Williams stealing the device.

“[Witness 1] also claimed to have spoken to friends of Williams, who showed [Witness 1] a video of Williams taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Speaker Pelosi’s office,” the document stated. “[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. 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.”

The witness is said to be a “former romantic partner” of Williams, and the matter is still being investigated by the bureau.

Video from inside the Capitol Building during the Jan. 6 riots appeared to show Williams directing protesters up a staircase that led to Pelosi’s office.

“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,” said the affidavit from Special Agent Jonathan Lund. “I have confirmed with U.S. Capitol Police that the staircase depicted in the video does, in fact, lead to Speaker Pelosi’s office.”

Footage of Williams directing the rioters appears at approximately 20 minutes and 40 seconds into the video:

Williams’s mother confirmed to Harrisburg police that the images and video depicted her daughter and told a reporter from ITV News that her daughter had “taken a sudden interest in President [Donald] Trump’s politics and ‘far right message boards.’”

Williams, who drove from Pennsylvania to D.C. with her father, now appears to be on the run.

“It appears that WILLIAMS has fled. According to local law enforcement officers in Harrisburg, WILLIAMS’ mother stated that that WILLIAMS packed a bag and left her home and told her mother she would be gone for a couple of weeks,” the court document stated. “WILLIAMS did not provide her mother any information about her intended destination. Sometime after January 6, 2021, WILLIAMS changed her telephone number and deleted what I believe were her social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler.”

Read the full affidavit below:

Riley Williams Charging Document by Law&Crime on Scribd

[image via YouTube screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.