“A laptop from a conference room was stolen. It was a laptop that was only used for presentations,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill wrote in a statement.
This came after an aide confirmed the device was stolen in the midst of chaos inside the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday when protests turned violent and the building was breached, sending lawmakers scampering away from the floors of the Senate and House.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) took to Twitter to write that a laptop was taken from his office during the incident.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for Washington D.C., claimed that 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.,” stated Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) in a comment to Politico.
The House Chief Administrative Office stated that “at this time, there have been no indications that the House network was compromised” and added the office issued commands to lock laptops and computers, and shut down wired network access.
Republican and Democratic members of Congress have blamed President Donald Trump for inciting violence and chaos that left at least four people dead, including a U.S. Air Force veteran, as well as a U.S. Capitol police officer. Three died due to medical reasons, D.C. police conclude.
Prior to the time when protesters breached the Capitol, Trump held a speech and repeated assertions of election fraud and irregularities, although he did not call on the demonstrators to breach the Capitol or commit acts of violence.
Last week, Trump struck a different tone, 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, prior to Twitter banning his account, 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 is not yet known. Some information technology experts worry that intruders may have planted malicious software on computers, although it’s not clear that devices were the focus of any particular attention.
And a man who was seen sitting in Pelosi’s chair was later arrested, as reported by officials.