Capitol rioters may have seized Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop with intent to sell it to the Russian government, according to an FBI affidavit filed on Sunday. The affidavit charges Riley June Williams with illegal entrance and impeding government operations on the grounds of detailed video evidence on the site of the Capitol riot. But the affidavit also uncovers an obvious plot to snatch the laptop from Speaker Pelosi and to make contact in Russia, who will then be in contact with the government of the country.
Williams was identified by the UK media over the weekend, and the police verified their identity with her driver’s license photo and an in-person interview with her parents. In fact, public videos show Williams leading rioters to the general location of Pelosi’s workplace, consistent with the belief that she planned to ransack the office.
According to the affidavit, a former Williams partner told the police that she had intended to rob the laptop from Speaker Pelosi in order to sell it to the Russian government.
Reuters had earlier confirmed that a laptop had been stolen from Pelosi’s office. According to the assistant, the laptop was stationed in a conference room and “was used for presentations.”
Device fraud was a big problem for government IT staff in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, which broke long-standing security protocols around Legislative offices. In the aftermath of the attack, the possibility of computers being stolen or tampered with was seen as a “nightmare scenario.”
“I don’t think I’d sleep well until the networks were rebuilt from scratch,” said one former House IT official on Twitter, “and every computer wiped and the internals visually inspected before being put back into service.”
In spite of the continuing inquiry and media identification, Williams remains at large. She discontinued her phone number and deleted social media pages from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler. When she returned from the raid, she packed a suitcase and told her mother that she would be gone “for a couple of weeks,” the affidavit reads.