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FBI probes if woman tried to sell Pelosi laptop

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The FBI is investigating Riley June Williams, a Pennsylvania woman accused of unlawfully breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6, after receiving a tip from someone claiming to be a former romantic partner, who said she planned to steal a laptop or hard drive from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and sell it to Russian intelligence.

That's according to an affidavit released on Sunday night outlining a criminal case against Williams, who is also accused of directing people to Pelosi's office during the siege of the Capitol.

The theft of electronic devices from congressional offices has been a persistent worry since supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.

And acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said that some of the thefts might have potentially jeopardized what he described as "national security equities."

According to the affidavit, the tipster said Williams "intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to Russia’s foreign intelligence service," but that "the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it."

The FBI said that it appears Williams has fled an address near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that she shared with her mother, and that she deactivated her phone number, and took down her social media accounts.

Two days after the Capitol siege, a spokesman for Pelosi said a laptop used for presentations was stolen from a conference room in Pelosi's office. It was unclear whether that device was the one Williams was accused of taking.

Video Transcript

- The FBI is investigating Riley June Williams, a Pennsylvania woman accused of unlawfully breaching the Capitol on January 6th, after receiving a tip from someone claiming to be a former romantic partner, who said she planned to steal a laptop or a hard drive from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and sell it to Russian intelligence. That's according to an affidavit released on Sunday night outlining a criminal case against Williams, who was also accused of directing people to Pelosi's office during the siege of the Capitol. The theft of electronic devices from congressional offices has been a persistent worry since supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, and acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin said that some of the thefts might have potentially jeopardized what he described as national security equities.

According to the affidavit, the tipster said Williams, "intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to Russia's foreign intelligence service," but that "the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons, and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it." The FBI said that it appears Williams has fled an address near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that she shared with her mother, and that she deactivated her phone number and took down her social media accounts. Two days after the Capitol siege, a spokesman for Pelosi said a laptop used for presentations was stolen from a conference room in Pelosi's office. It was unclear whether that device was the one Williams was accused of taking.