An Alaska woman received a fright this week after about a dozen FBI agents and an officer from the Capitol Police violently entered her home to search for Speaker Pelosi’s stolen laptop, only to realize that they mistook her for another woman.
Marilyn Heuper, a resident of Homer, Alaska, told local media that federal agents burst through the door of her and her husband’s home, handcuffing them and their guests and proceeding to confiscate electronics, including the couple’s laptops and a cellphone, and searching around for four hours while engaging them in conversation.
“I think almost right off the bat, they said, ‘Well you probably know why we’re here’, or something like that,” Heuper said, recalling the incident. “It’s like, yeah no, not really. And they said, ‘Well, we’re here for Nancy Pelosi’s laptop.’ And I said, ‘Oh’.”
The woman said she laughed and apologized after an agent asked her ‘who she was working for.’ “I don’t mean to be disrespectful and laughing, but this is really surreal and strange,” she said.
She added that during the search, agents showed her a photo of a woman who looked like her, but that additional photos showed that she was “clearly” not the person they were looking for.
The FBI’s Anchorage field office later confirmed to the Associated Press that a court-authorized search had taken place at Heuper’s residence, but noted that they do not "discuss or describe any contact we have or allegedly have with individuals" as a matter of policy.
Heuper confirmed that she and her husband Paul were in the Washingdon, DC area on vacation on 6 January, and attended the pro-Trump rally where the president spoke, which took place several kilometers from the site of the violence at the Capitol complex. She stressed that the couple did not take part in the riot. She added that she didn’t even know that Pelosi’s laptop had been stolen.
An aide to Pelosi said the stolen laptop was used by the speaker’s office for presentations. Previously, some US media have claimed that the laptop contains sensitive national security information, and the FBI even confirmed that they had probed claims that a Pennsylvania woman arrested in January in connection with the incident was trying to sell it to the Russians. The woman was charged with helping to steal the laptop in late January, but later released into the custody of her mother, with the laptop itself apparently never recovered.
As for Heuper, she said she had not been charged with any crime, and that she and her husband had received offers of legal assistance and were ‘considering their options’.
"I still think it's funny that they want to take me as someone who was actually [at the riot] instead of lost, eating hot dogs at the other end of the Mall," she joked.