Pennsylvania woman alleged to have illegally entered U.S. Capitol during Jan. 6 riot
Federal authorities arrested a Pennsylvania woman whose former romantic partner says she took a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Riley June Williams was arrested Monday, according to a Justice Department official. The federal prosecutors’ office in Harrisburg, Penn., where she was jailed, said Williams was due in court Tuesday afternoon.
The FBI said in an arrest warrant Sunday that Williams hasn’t been charged with theft but with illegally entering the Capitol and disorderly conduct.
FBI officials said a caller claiming to be Williams’ ex said her friends showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. The caller alleged that Williams intended to send the device to a friend in Russia who planned to sell it to that country’s foreign intelligence service, but that plan fell through and she either has the device or destroyed it.
The FBI says the matter remains under investigation.
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, confirmed Jan. 8 that a laptop was taken from a conference room, but he said “it was a laptop that was only used for presentations.”
Interest in ‘far-right message boards’: mother
Williams’ mother, who lives with her in Harrisburg, Pa., told ITV reporters that her daughter had taken a sudden interest in President Donald Trump’s politics and “far-right message boards.”
According to the FBI, Williams’ father, who lives in Camp Hill, Pa., told local law enforcement that he and his daughter went to Washington, D.C., on the day of the protest but didn’t stay together, meeting up later to return to Harrisburg.
Williams’ mother told local law enforcement that her daughter packed a bag and left before she was arrested, saying she would be gone for a couple of weeks. She also changed her phone number and deleted a number of social media accounts, the FBI said. Court documents don’t list an attorney for her.
The theft of electronic devices from congressional offices has been a persistent worry following the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of Trump, who leaves office on Wednesday.
Dozens of suspects have been arrested since a crowd egged on by Trump attacked the Capitol in a bid to halt the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s election win. Many took video and photos of themselves taking part in the rampage.
Trump was impeached last week by the House for inciting insurrection and now faces trial in the Senate.