FBI: Woman Who Stole Pelosi’s Laptop May Have Tried To Sell It To The Russians

Photo: Dauphin County Jail.

Some of the crimes committed in the Capitol riot are truly breathtaking.  One of those was the alleged theft of the laptop belonging to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). That alone is extraordinary but now federal officials are alleging that Riley June Williams not only took the laptop but tried to sell it to the Russians.  That allegation would ratchet up charges already including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Williams, 22, is a health care worker.

The FBI include extensive photos of Williams in the riot, which have also appeared on some media sites.Those photos will make some of the charges virtually impossible to refute. This includes a videotape of Williams allegedly stealing the laptop. There are also allegedly videos of Williams directing rioters up the stairs to Pelosi’s office. The media has also shown pictures purportedly showing Williams poising with an assault-like weapon though not at the riot itself.  The riot pictures are clearly admissible. The other web pictures are likely to face a determined defense motion for exclusion due to their prejudicial impact.

However, it is the latest allegation that is so striking. In a court filing on Sunday, the FBI stated that a witness identifying himself as a former romantic partner said that Williams “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.”

What I have not been able to determine is what steps were actually take by Williams to seek such a transfer to the Russians. It does not take much to establish such criminal conduct but the reports are vague on how or why the effort fell through. There is no suggestion that she actually made contact. However, the Speaker’s laptop could have some material that could be deemed classified. Even if classified at the confidential level, federal prosecutors could ramp up charges of a conspiracy for espionage or other national security violations. She may have lucked out however. A Pelosi staffer reported that a laptop was stolen from a conference room but was used only for presentations.

These videotapes show a spectrum of unlawful conduct. Some people are seen meandering around, seemingly surprised that they got inside. Others are in full riot, rummaging through papers and smashing mirrors. Yet, if these allegations are true, Williams made the mistake of her life in radically increasing her liability by taking that laptop. If she then took steps to sell it to the Russians, she could spend much of the rest of her life in prison.

88 thoughts on “FBI: Woman Who Stole Pelosi’s Laptop May Have Tried To Sell It To The Russians”

    1. How is this related to that, Allan?

      Rioters stormed the Capitol and some broke into her office and stole a laptop.

      You think she’s untrustworthy because of that? Who else do you think is untrustworthy because of the acts of criminals?

  1. Jonathan: We know Trump’s supporters trashed offices in the Capitol. Now we know who stole Speaker Pelosi’s laptop. Riley June Williams is going to spend a lot of time in some federal prison. What was she thinking? No doubt she thought she was doing what the president of the United States wanted her to do and, therefore, when the president commands it can’t be illegal. That defense won’t go very far in her trial.

    What you don’t mention is since the sacking of the Capitol on Jan. 6 members of the Trump administration and staff have been sacking the White House. In an iconic photo Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade official, is seen walking from the White House with a large photo of Trump and Chinese Pres. XiJinping. In another photo someone is seen leaving the White House with a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Navarro will live in infamy for saying: “The Democratic Party did violence to this country by attacking a president who I believe was legally elected on November 3rd”. Of course Navarro’s comment came before Trump’s stormtroopers committed “violence” inside the Capitol. But sacking of the White House by Navarro and others is just par for the course for Trump and his minions. They have been raiding the treasury this past 4 years. Reminds me of the last days of World War 11 when Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s Reich leader of the SS, was ordered to empty the Berlin Reichsbank of gold and bury it in underground bunkers. In Navarro’s case and others removing items from the White House is illegal. Items of historical or other significance should remain in the White House or be deposited with the National Archives. You just can’t walk of with things that really belong to the American people. Riley June Williams should not be the only one prosecuted!

    1. “In an iconic photo Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade official, is seen walking from the White House with a large photo of Trump and Chinese Pres. XiJinping.”

      Navarro has an extensive collection of Winnie the Pooh memorabilia.

      So, that makes perfect sense.

  2. – So, the laptop is still “missing”, along with her, and she somehow already knew where Pelosi’s office was located and directed people towards its location.

    – According to her mother she “had recently taken a sudden interest in President Trump’s politics and ‘far-right message boards”.

    – A “sudden interest” in “far right message boards”, by a Health Care Worker whose photo oozes far left millennial snowflake?

    – Now, let’s tie Russia into the mix with an unverified accusation by an anonymous ex-romantic partner.

    This is not a case where Sherlock Holmes is needed.

    1. Yep, “she somehow already knew where Pelosi’s office was located and directed people towards its location.” It’s not like the location of Pelosi’s office is a secret. Some of the rioters had maps with them. She’s on videotape directing people –

      LMAO that you say her “photo oozes far left millennial snowflake” as if you can tell political affiliation from her photo. Do you think the photo of her with the rifle is of a millennial snowflake too? How unsurprising that you think we should trust your ignorance over her mother’s knowledge.

  3. I don’t care what was on the laptop. If she attempted to transmit it to a foreign power, hostile or otherwise, she should face the full weight of the law.
    Her criminality says no more about Trump, GOP, or any group, than the attempted murder of the Congressmen practicing baseball, says about Bernie, the communists, or the Dems.
    This collective guilt and guilt by association are the hallmarks of despots.

  4. The Russians don’t need the laptop.
    Surely Pelosi has already bcc’ed them everything that’s on it.

  5. Seems the entire invasion was an exercise in clueless white privilege gone wrong. The fantastical entitlement that drove this crew in the Capitol, whether somewhat shocked to have gotten inside or in full riot/ destructo mode, was bound to come up with monumental stupidity on principle alone. This woman and her decision to try to market Pelosi’s laptop to the Russians will put her squarely in the cross hairs…, and I’m sure, to her, the plan sounded really smart + ethically solid based on Trump’s taking advantage of Russian disinformation in his election efforts.

    While I marvel at the sheer delusion of Williams and the crew that saw the 6th as their Bannon inspired comeupance day, I do feel sorry for these rhetorical victims going forward to some some degree. That bifurcation of sentiment is probably why I visit the comments section of the Turley blog.

    Elvis Bug

  6. These comments demonstrate serious denial about the nature of the average Trump flag-waver. I suppose it’s hard to admit that demented losers (deplorables) are a big part of their own “conservative” voting block. Just because you were all triggered by Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream doesn’t mean you have to defend even the looniest Alex Jones disciples and QANON rioters, ya know.

    1. The hypocrites on the right who whined for years of Benghazi and an off-statement about flexibility to discuss missile shields are more than happy to defend their lunatic fringe here. That’s because they need them to have a chance at succeeding, but it is a double edged sword that is purging the cooler headed “RINOs” from the party. Sure the left has some who would champion losing slogans like “defund the police” to the detriment of creating reform, but as evidenced by a moderate who has been a moderate for 50 years taking the reigns on the endorsement of Jim Clyburn, the fringe doesn’t control the Dems, and they’re no more far left than the tea party was far-right a decade ago.

      Now you’ve got an alt-right coalition including neonazis with confederate flags, AR-15s, flex cuffs and nooses calling for the death of the VP and congresspeople and the whiny right like Graham caves to them and talks of how unfair the media is being. It’s an international embarrassment and a bad look for both the right and America. Hopefully the next 4 years gives them time to reflect and clean house. McConnell wants this trial for good reason, to purge this out of control element from the party.

      1. Your right. If the Repo party wants to continue to coddle trump and his ilk, they will never win a national election again. And it is quite likely that if Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz try to hang onto power, without a full mea culpa about their lying, they will also loose. Oh wait, I think it is far too late for Ted and Josh to show they are reformed, They will be marginalized the rest of their lives. Now if only the good people of S Carolina would realize they elected a snake to the senate in the form of lindsey grahm.

        1. The Reps will win future elections easily by imitating what Democrats did – steal, rig, fabricate ballots and…. wait a second. You could likely be hired by the Reps as a consultant since you know how the Dems did it

          What’s your rate?

          1. And the proof of rigged elections is…? Over 60 court cases, Not a single evidence of fraud was put into evidence. When the judge asked for evidence, the trumpists folded and withdrew. So please, where is the evidence?

    2. Because we know the actions of one, or even a few, tell us all we need to know about an entire group.

      How do you really feel about black people? Your logic seems tailor made for white supremacy.

      1. “Because we know the actions of one, or even a few, tell us all we need to know about an entire group.’

        LOL. That’s not even close to what I said or even implied. Try to remain focused and be less easily triggered. Don’t be so obsessed with race, either. It’s tacky. At least you have some shame over the illegal actions done in your name, so that’s a start.

      2. Black leaders aren’t condoning the actions of the craziest most unruly lunatics. Senator Clyburn said “Defund the Police” is a losing slogan. Mayor Bottoms told any protestors who were violent (and it was a small minority) to “go home!” They didn’t raid the Capitol, or threaten federal officials with AR-15s when they protested. The GOP leadership is asking that we quickly forget these fools, made up of actual white supremacists, damn near assassinated half of congress in the middle of one of its most sacred ceremonies, after being egged on by the president. That’s logic tailor made for white supremacy because it is the logic of white supremacy, not what Brad said.

        1. I could be mistaken here CK, but I think some of them had pins and earings that said “Trump” on them.

    1. One should never put too much faith in what someone’s ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend has to say about them. It would definitely need to be investigated and corroborated.

  7. MAGA – Make America Great Again. What a great slogan. No, not because it had anything to do with actually making America Great Again, Because it showed us the dumbest people in this country. The absolute idiots that have been hiding in the shadows came out of the woodwork under baby trump and showed themselves. Thank you mister baby trump, you did something good, you showed us the dumbest people in the country and now we know who you are.

  8. Turley has stated that he is not seeking nor will accept representing Trump in his Impeachment, but he has acknowledged counseling the White House as well as Republicans. Are we not to presume that Turley is supposed to be impartial in regards to his legal opinions about Trump? If he is advising Trump and Republicans directly or indirectly, then he is no longer impartial. He is prejudiced in their favor whether or not he is being compensated. I should think that he has an obligation to the subscribers of this blog to lay his cards on the table. As a paid Fox contributor, his bias against CNN and MSNBC is readily apparent. He will not criticize any Fox hosts or the fact that Fox enabled the Big Lie that the election was stolen which lie instigated the storming of the Capitol long before the Trump supporters arrived at the doorstep of the building. It does not escape our notice that Turley focuses his condemnation solely on Trump’s January 6th speech and purposely ignores all his incendiary rhetoric in the preceding 2 months and Fox’s role in reinforcing the lie among his followers. Even James Murdoch recognizes Fox’s complicity. It’s about time that Turley does so and his own silence in the face of it.

    1. Indeed Jeffrey, and Turley has argued here and elsewhere for an investigation into the election, as if there were any substantive and valid suspicions based on anything but the accusations Trump has been making since the middle of 2020. Do we now investigate every election, or only ones Republicans lose? Turley helped sell the Big Lie that the election was suspect and owes the country an apology. Enough of the “I have long criticized blah blah blah for blah blah blah but Joe Biden/MSNBC/CNN must blah blah blah or be considered enemies of the people.”

      F that old noise.

      1. Joe Friday: I would not bother wasting my time criticizing Turley if I thought there was no good in him. I think he tries to serve his Fox employer by not contradicting their views short of becoming a laughing stock. It will be interesting to watch his views evolve if the Senate actually holds the Impeachment trial. It would not surprise me if Turley is advocating that there be no trial because it will prove very embarrassing to Fox News and by extension Turley as evidence is presented showing all the lies Trump made before and after the election and Fox’s complicity in advancing them. Turley will have to explain why he was not outspoken as others were in contesting the Big Lie.

        1. Jeffrey, I’m sure Turley loves his family and helps little old ladies cross the street, but on politics I don’t see the good. I see a poseur, all too predictable on choosing sides and like his Fox hosts, devoid of shame for the 4 year moving disaster they’ve at a minimum enabled.

  9. When you hear the word “Russia”, it’s pretty safe to assume that the story is 100% Fake News.

    1. And when you hear that the snitch is a “former romantic partner” it’s pretty safe to assume that the story is, without more, highly questionable. Hey FBI, a spurned lover out for revenge is not a particularly reliable source.

      1. How would an ex bf know what his ex gf would have done? Or did he break up with her after seeing the peaceful protest because he noticed her ovaries are bigger than his 🍒?

        These stories make National Enquirer look credible

  10. Of course most of us won’t be distracted by this as we await the unveiling of Trump’s promised Health Care Plan and Middle Class Tax Cut legislation. This being his last full day- barring that QANON promised round up and public slaughter of the President Elect, Obama, Hillary, etc overcoming a few legal problems, like the Mall already being reserved – I think we all know we can count on the President’s word and therefore the fulfillment of his agenda.

    I understand VIagra will be covered.

        1. True. Now that Graham, Cruz and the lot of them have destroyed what little credibility remained in the GOP I think I’ll go back to watching how this war within the GOP plays out. As during the Obama administration it was more enjoyable to watch the whine right, I had already planned to take a step back from posting once Biden took office, but given the ramifications of this Senate trial I imagine more drama and melancholy from the right than ever before, and I’m not the gloating, pour salt in the wounds type. I honestly hope for their sake those with an ounce of integrity like Romney prevail, but my guess is Murkowski etc. will leave the GOP (for different reasons) at the end of this trial. Maybe not the 1/3rd Rand Paul is predicting, but one can hope: https://news.yahoo.com/rand-paul-warns-one-third-175520035.html

  11. What about San Fran Nan’s failure to secure government property as she ran from the Capitol? Is she too old to carry the laptop? Was it an aide’s responsibility? Maybe the FBI can look into it, maybe contract hire Andy McCabe when he’s not on CNN spewing falsehoods.

    1. It was taken from Pelosi’s office, which they broke into. A locked office in the House is normally considered secure.

      1. That person has no special information about the case but they can’t help themselves from interjecting. Their thoughts are just so darn important! Textbook narcissism. Amusing online. Grating in real life.

  12. What about all the crimes committed by Obama, Clinton, Comey, Brennan, Mueller, Wiessman, the List is Long & that list is what is driving the Unrest in America right now!!! NO ACCOUNTABILITY, NO JUSTICE

    1. Pretty sure what is driving the unrest is the long list of lies from Trump and his cronies that the election was stolen from them. Since their accounts were purged from the Twittersphere, misinformation declined 73% according to reports from Zignal Labs. Maybe if there’s less people conning them that the election was stolen and telling them “all hell is going to break loose”, “this is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light” or “we will win this fight, or America will step off into 1000 years of darkness” they would be less disgruntled: https://youtu.be/5cUGNXIGgEs

    1. Well, all I have to say about this is Richard Jewell. The FBI says….” ________” means little at this point. Facts may fall by the wayside for the next year or so. I hope she has good defense, as I would hope for anyone, and I hope making a dumb mistake or ten won’t doom her. It’s a good thing we don’t all get what we deserve as determined by others.

    2. I know nothing of the Pelosi laptop. Just looking at Turley’s 1/19 post hypothetically from perspective of old time long gone bureaucrat. IF the laptop contained classified information (and this should be determined by the executive branch agency(ies) whose information it may be such as DOE, CIA, DOD, etc.) was she authorized to have classified on this computer? Sometimes special permission (with appropriate protective measures including physical and electronic) might be given to have classified information on a laptop, but it was rare at least in my experience. If not do statutory provisions come into effect? IF there was classified information how was Pulosi actually protecting the lap top? Did any of her staff have access to the computer and if it did contain classified and they did have access were they properly cleared for the classified information allegedly thereon? Did she take the portable laptop home with her or take it too unsecured areas? Was it locked up at night in a safe? Is her office a secure area approved by the agency(ies) whose information was allegedly on the laptop where she might have left the laptop unattended? Was any of the allegedly classified information sent to anyone else and if so who? How did the information get on that computer to begin with? I also wonder IF there was classified will there be a damage assessment which is usually done when information is lost, stolen, mishandled etc. Will the damage assessment be available in redacted format to the public? Was the hard drive replicated while allegedly under control of the woman who allegedly took it? More broadly speaking IF there was classified information involved, hopefully all has in fact been handled by the classification and security books and neither this laptop or any others on the hill potentially containing classified information are out of compliance with appropriate security protective requirements designed to protect our national security.

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