UPDATE, 1/18/2021, 10:54 PM ET: Riley Williams was arrested Jan. 18 in Pennsylvania on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, as well as knowingly entering restricted buildings without lawful authority. A person claiming to be a former romantic partner told the FBI they saw in footage of the riot that Williams was directing them to Nancy Pelosi’s office, according to a criminal complaint.
One of the Trumpist rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month may have stolen House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop and then tried to sell it to Russian intelligence, according to a criminal complaint.
The extraordinary claim—which is now under investigation by the FBI—comes from an affidavit describing the criminal case against Pennsylvania woman Riley June Williams. She was recognized in footage of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by an unnamed person who claimed to be her former romantic partner. That person then tipped off the FBI.
According to the complaint, the footage shows Williams “directing crowds inside the U.S. Capitol Building up a staircase,” and she can be heard repeatedly yelling: “Upstairs, upstairs, upstairs.” The FBI officer who wrote the complaint confirmed with U.S. Capitol Police that the staircase shown in the footage “does, in fact, lead to Speaker Pelosi’s office.”
While there doesn’t appear to be any publicly available footage of Williams inside Pelosi’s office, the FBI is investigating an allegation that the rioter took a laptop or hard-drive from the room. Williams’ ex-partner said they had seen a video of Williams taking the device, and alleged she “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 FBI has no supporting evidence for the ex-lover’s claim. Regardless, even if a laptop was taken, it appears not to have made its way into Russian hands—the ex-partner said that the deal “fell through for unknown reasons and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it.” Pelosi’s aide Drew Hammill noted on Twitter last week that an office laptop was stolen, but said that it was “only used for presentations.”
While the FBI investigates the Russian matter, Williams is facing separate charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct for her actions on the day of the Capitol riots—but she has disappeared.
“It appears that Williams has fled,” the complaint reads, adding that Williams’ mom said her daughter had “packed a bag and left her home,” and would be “gone for a couple of weeks.” The FBI’s complaint went on: “Sometime after [the day of the riot]... Williams changed her telephone number and deleted what I believe were her social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler.”
Williams’ mom has identified her daughter in the footage, and said she had taken a “sudden interest” in President Trump’s politics and was an active member on several “far right message boards.”
There is an outstanding warrant for her arrest.