The FBI is investigating a former lover’s charge that the woman stole a laptop computer from House Speaker Pelosi to sell to Russia.
Federal authorities have arrested a Pennsylvania Woman accused of stealing a laptop or hard drive from the office of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the assault on Capitol Hill by supporters of President Donald Trump, US media reported .
Riley June Williams was arrested Monday and charged with unlawfully violating the Capitol building and disorderly conduct, the Associated Press said, citing a Department of Justice official.
The New York Times reported that Williams surrendered to local police on Monday. The Justice Department did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
The FBI said in a court file on Sunday that Williams was seen on video taking “a laptop or hard drive” from Pelosi’s office. It is investigate if she tried to sell the device to Russian intelligence services.
According to the affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the FBI received a tip from a person who claimed to be a former romantic partner of Williams. The affidavit also notes that law enforcement at Williams ‘home in Harrisburg, Pa. Responded to a suspicious persons report filed by Williams’ mother in January 2021.
The ex-lover is believed to be the “suspicious person” about whom the report was filed.
The FBI repeated in court the lover’s allegations that Riley “intended to send the computing device to a friend in Russia, who was then considering selling the device to SVR, the foreign intelligence service. Russian, ”the affidavit states.
“The transfer of the computing device to Russia failed for unknown reasons and Williams still has the computing device or destroyed it,” the affidavit continued.
The investigation remains open. The time of his initial court appearance was not known.
The FBI said earlier it appeared Williams had disabled her phone number, deleted social media accounts and leaked her Harrisburg address.
A laptop from a conference room was stolen. It was a laptop computer that was only used for presentations. https://t.co/S7YGPnLaWy
– Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) January 8, 2021
Theft of electronic devices from congressional offices has been a lingering concern after the Jan.6 siege on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters, who will step down on Wednesday.
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said on Twitter that the stolen laptop came from the boardroom and was only used for presentations. It is not clear how much the contents of such a laptop would be desirable for Russian intelligence services.
Dozens of suspects have been arrested since a Trump-cheered mob attacked the Capitol in a bid to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s certification of electoral victory. Many have taken videos and photos of themselves taking part in the rampage.
The FBI has opened more than 200 surveys individuals possibly involved.
Trump was impeached last week by the House for inciting insurgency and is now facing a Senate trial.