The FBI is investigating whether a woman who allegedly stole a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6 riot had plans to sell it to Russian intelligence officials, according to a report published late Sunday.
Describing the claim as “bizarre,” Politico reporter Kyle Cheney noted that the FBI’s ongoing probe includes an affidavit describing criminal allegations against Riley June Williams of Pennsylvania, who was seen in a video of the riot earlier this month.
Cheney added that thus far there is no indication whether the FBI has arrested her.
“It appears that WILLIAMS has fled,” says the affidavit, which was posted online late Sunday night.
“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,” the affidavit continued.
In the days following the riot, the affidavit states, a witness claiming to be a “romantic partner” of Williams made several calls to the FBI’s tip line regarding the alleged theft.
The witness “stated that WILLIAMS intended to sell the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service,” states the affidavit. “According to the [witness], the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and WILLIAMS still has the computer device or destroyed it.”
“The matter remains under investigation,” the affidavit notes further.
For the time being, Cheney wrote, Williams is only facing charges for illegally entering a restricted building and for disorderly conduct.
He noted that the FBI agent assigned to Williams’ case talked with law enforcement officials in the Pennsylvania capital of Harrisburg, and recently spoke to Williams’ parents. On Jan. 11, the suspect’s mother filed a suspicious-persons report against the person identified as “Witness 1” — who called the FBI’s tip line to report the information regarding the laptop.
With local police present in the room, Williams’ mother conducted a video chat with her. Cheney writes that officers noted Williams was wearing a brown jacket similar to one she was wearing during the riots.
In addition, Harrisburg police spoke to Williams’ father, who told them that he accompanied her to Washington, D.C. for the rally where President Donald Trump spoke, but that the two of them split up for the day with Williams going off with friends.
They then drove home together after meeting outside the Capitol Building, Cheney wrote.
The Capitol, as well as most of Washington, D.C., remains on lockdown ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration this Wednesday. Two days after the Capitol riot, President Trump announced he would not be attending the event, as Democrats in the House ramped up their second impeachment move against him after blaming the riots on verbiage he used during his speech to rally-goers.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted from his now-suspended account.
Some 25,000 National Guard and active-duty Army troops have been deployed throughout Washington, manning armed checkpoints and requiring drivers to show ID before passage.
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