A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) confirmed that a laptop was stolen from a conference room belonging to her office amid the chaos at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
“It was a laptop that was only used for presentations,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill wrote in a Jan. 10 statement.
Following a Trump rally and march to the Capitol, the building was breached as protesters pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building while lawmakers inside debated counting Electoral College votes to confirm Joe Biden’s victory.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wrote on Twitter that a laptop was taken from his office during the incident.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for Washington, said it will likely take “several days to flesh out exactly what happened, what was stolen, what wasn’t,” according to Politico. He noted that “items, electronic items were stolen from senators’ offices, documents and materials were stolen, and we have to identify what was done to mitigate that [damage].”
“We have to do a full review of what was taken, or copied, or even left behind in terms of bugs and listening devices, etc.,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) told Politico.
The House Chief Administrative Office stated that “at this time, there have been no indications that the House network was compromised” and said the office issued commands to lock laptops and computers, and shut down wired network access.
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Republican and Democratic members of Congress have blamed President Donald Trump for inciting the violence and chaos that left at least four people dead, including a U.S. Air Force veteran and a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Three died due to medical reasons, D.C. police said.
Before the protesters breached the Capitol, Trump held a speech and repeated assertions of election fraud and irregularities, although he didn’t call on the demonstrators to breach the Capitol or commit acts of violence.
Trump struck a different tone on Jan. 7, saying, “A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20 … My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Hours later, before he was banned by Twitter, Trump wrote that his 75 million supporters “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form,” describing them as “patriots.”
The demonstrators who broke into the Capitol posted several photographs of themselves using congressional phones and various other devices. One reporter with The Blaze posted a photograph of what purported to be a computer from Pelosi’s office with emails “still on the screen.”
What else might have been taken during the chaos isn’t known. Some information technology experts worry that intruders may have planted malicious software on computers, although it isn’t clear that devices were the focus of any particular attention.
The man who was photographed sitting in a chair in Pelosi’s office has been arrested, officials said.