The Department of Justice announced the arrest of Riley June Williams who was arrested on Monday for participating in the Capitol riot on January 6. The Pennsylvanian woman was accused of stealing a laptop from the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, with a plan to sell it to Russians, the Guardian reports.
The FBI said they received a phone call from someone who identified as a former romantic partner of Williams.
The caller reportedly told the bureau that Williams wanted to sell the device to Russians. In the suspect’s arrest warrant, the FBI stipulated that the charges against Williams are still limited to illegally gaining entrance into the Capitol. The bureau said the investigation about the theft is still ongoing and has not been added to the charges yet.
The suspect’s former partner told FBI officers that Williams’ friends shot a video of her stealing a laptop or hard drive from the speaker’s office. According to the caller, Williams planned to send the device to a contact in Russia who would then sell it to the foreign intelligence service in the European country. The caller added that the plans fell through and the device must have been destroyed or is still with Williams, Yahoo writes.
Drew Hammill, the Speaker’s chief of staff announced, via a tweet, two days after the Capitol riot, that a laptop computer was stolen during the riot. Hammill stated that the device was only used for presentations.
Williams lives with her mother in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her mother told reporters that Williams’ abrupt curiosity about President Donald Trump and his policies had led to her participation in the riot. Her father also told authorities that he had traveled to Washington with his daughter on January 6, but they had gone their separate ways until they met again at Harrisburg.
The suspect’s mother said her daughter packed a few clothes and left home, telling her mother that she was traveling for about two weeks. According to the FBI, Williams changed her phone number and deleted some of her social media accounts, actions which made officials believe she had fled her home where she was later arrested on Monday.
Video footage that authorities are using to place Williams at the Capitol on the day of the riot has been released by authorities. In the video, she is seen urging other rioters to ascend the stairs in front of the building. She then moves and urges others to move in the direction of the speaker’s office.
Reporters showed the video to Williams’ mother, and she confirmed that the shouting woman is her daughter, according to a statement from the Harrisburg police. The police department stated that the woman confirmed speaking with reporters who showed her pictures of her daughter at the Capitol.