Houston Chronicle

Woman arrested in Pelosi laptop theft

- By Spencer S. Hsu and Hannah Knowles

WASHINGTON — Federal authoritie­s said they have arrested a woman whose “former romantic partner” said she stole a laptop or hard drive from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Riley June Williams was arrested Monday in her home state of Pennsylvan­ia, the Justice Department said late Monday. The department did not immediatel­y provide further details. The laptop intrigue “remains under investigat­ion,” according to a criminal complaint filed Sunday against Williams, who was charged that day for her alleged role in the Capitol riot.

An ex-partner of Williams’, identified only as W1 in court filings, told the FBI that friends of Williams played a video of her stealing the drive or computer from Pelosi’s office, and 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 complaint states. According to the witness, the plan fell through for unknown reasons and Williams still has the device or has destroyed it, the FBI said.

Williams was charged with trespassin­g and disorderly conduct in the Capitol after her mother told police in Harrisburg, Pa., that Williams packed a bag and fled without disclosing her destinatio­n, according to the FBI. She has not been charged with theft.

Williams can be seen in an ITV News video posted to YouTube, taken from inside the Capitol, wearing a green T-shirt and brown trench coat with a zebraprint bag, directing rioters up a staircase toward Pelosi’s office, the FBI said.

The woman in the green shirt can be seen pushing people forward amid a crowd toting flags and wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.

“Up the stairs! Up the stairs!” she yells. “Go! Go!”

Other video and photograph­s show Williams entering or being inside the Capitol, according to law enforcemen­t.

The affidavit filed in court does not mention a video or photos reviewed by law enforcemen­t that show someone taking a computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for Pelosi, D-Calif., said Jan. 8 that a laptop “only used for presentati­ons” was taken from a conference room.

Hammill did not respond to questions Monday.

The FBI agent said police in Harrisburg confirmed with Williams’ father, of Camp Hill, Pa., that the pair drove to Washington for the Jan. 6 demonstrat­ion and back home but did not stay together during the event.

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