FBI investigates whether woman took laptop from Pelosi's office

Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The FBI said it's investigating whether a Pennsylvania woman took a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during a Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In an criminal complaint filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, a tipster identified Riley June Williams in a video inside the U.S. Capitol when it was stormed by supporters of President Donald Trump. The tipster, a former romantic partner of Williams, repeated an allegation from friends that Williams took a laptop.


"[Tipster] stated that Williams can be seen directing crowds inside the U.S. Capitol building up a staircase," the document said. "[The tipster] claimed to have spoken to friends of Williams, who showed a video of Williams taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Speaker Pelosi's office."


The tipster said Williams intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to that country's foreign intelligence service. The transfer "fell through" and Williams either still has the laptop or has destroyed it, the tipster told the FBI.

The FBI added it appears Williams has fled and deleted all of her social media accounts. They said the "matter remains under investigation."

It has not been established, though, if a laptop is actually missing from Pelosi's office. Williams, so far, is only charged with violent entry or disorderly conduct, and entering the restricted space of the Capitol, and not theft.

At least one other person faces charges for allegedly entering and taking items from Pelosi's office -- Richard Barnett. Barnett was perhaps one of the most visible participants in the insurrection, posting a video online showing him in Pelosi's office with his feet up on her desk. Another video showed Barnett boasting about taking an envelope from her office.

He faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property or records.


A federal judge ordered him detained pending a potential trial Friday.

Authorities also announced three more were charged in the riot. They arrested Timothy LouisHale-Cusanelli -- an Army reservist with secret clearance to a wide range of military weapons -- Monday for allegedly taking part in the Capitol breach.

Hale-Cusanelli was arrested in New Jersey and is facing numerous charges, including entering a restricted government building, engaging in disorderly conduct to interrupt government business, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, illegal demonstration in a Capitol building and obstructing law enforcement.

An informant who said Hale-Cusanielli shared a video of him attending the riot, said the military reservist is "an avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer who posts video opinion statements on YouTube proffering extreme political opinions and viewpoints," Naval Criminal Investigative Service Special Agent Daniel J. Meyers wrote.

Federal authorities also brought charges against Nicolas Moncada, of Staten Island, and Thomas Fee, of Freeport, N.Y., for their alleged participation.

The FBI arrested Moncada, 20, in Washington, D.C., on Monday after a video appeared to show him outside of the office of Pelosi. Authorities said video evidence surfaced as well of Fee inside the Capitol building.


A 22-year veteran of the FDNY before retiring in October, Fee has not been arrested, authorities said.

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