The FBI is investigating whether a woman who took part in the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol stole a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and planned to sell it to Russia.
The claim, which is still under investigation, is detailed in an affidavit filed by the FBI on Sunday, outlining the case against Riley June Williams, a Pennsylvania woman who was seen in footage of the insurrection inside the Capitol directing crowds.
According to the affidavit, a person identified as Williams’ former romantic partner called the FBI tip line to identify Williams. The tipster told the FBI that they had spoken to friends of Williams who showed them a video of the woman taking a laptop or hard drive from Pelosi’s office, the affidavit states.
The tipster “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.”
It also notes that, “for unknown reasons,” the sale fell through and that Williams either still has the device or has since destroyed it.
The FBI said in the affidavit that the tip remains under investigation. Williams was arrested Monday in Pennsylvania and charged with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
In the days following the Jan. 6 insurrection, Pelosi’s chief of staff, Drew Hammill, tweeted that “a laptop that was only used for presentations” was taken from a conference room.
Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and it is not clear if there is any link between Hammill’s tweet and the FBI’s investigation.
Williams was identified in the affidavit as a woman wearing a brown coat and black-and-white zebra print bag on the day of the attempted coup. The FBI described video footage where Williams is reportedly physically directing crowds toward a staircase while she yelled, “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs.”
According to the FBI, the staircase shown in the video footage leads up to Pelosi’s office.
In an interview with local law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, Williams’ father confirmed he attended the rally on Jan. 6 with his daughter, but they did not stick together throughout the day.
According to the affidavit, Williams “packed a bag and left her home and told her mother she would be gone for a couple of weeks.” She has since changed her phone number and deleted her accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler, according to the FBI.
A woman who answered a phone number associated with Williams’ mother declined to comment. Williams’ father did not immediately respond to a request for comment.