A former State Department appointee was sentenced Friday to 70 months in prison for assaulting police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Frederico Klein, who served as a politically appointed State Department official in former President Donald Trump’s administration, was convicted of eight felonies following a bench trial before Judge McFadden.
The DOJ stated that Mr. Klein, 45, a former U.S. Marine from Virginia, was part of the group of rioters who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, and assaulted police officers.
According to court documents, Mr. Klein allegedly shoved police officers who were trying to control the crowd, telling them, “You can’t stop this!” and calling out to rioters behind him to push against the police.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Klein “waged a relentless siege” on police officers for over 90 minutes as he tried to get into the building and stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Mr. Trump.
Mr. Klein also used a stolen police riot shield as a wedge to thwart police from closing the door. He joined the rioters “aggressively” pushing in unison against the police line and chanting “heave-ho,” the DOJ said.
He was arrested in March 2021. The court has sentenced him to 70 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release. Mr. Klein was also ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and restitution, according to the DOJ.
Mr. Klein worked in the State Department’s office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs from 2017 until he resigned from that position on Jan. 19, 2021, a day before President Biden’s inauguration.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Klein’s participation in the riot was likely motivated by a desire to keep his job as a presidential appointee.
“As an employee of the federal government, Klein was endowed with the trust of the American people and to uphold the law. He violated that trust on January 6 when he attacked the very country for which he was paid to work,” prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Stanley Woodward has accused prosecutors of exaggerating Mr. Klein’s role in the riot due to his political connection to the Trump administration.
“Accordingly, Mr. Klein should be sentenced for his actual role in the events of the day, and not the more egregious conduct of others with which the government would have Mr. Klein be found guilty by association,” Mr. Woodward wrote.
Mr. Klein’s co-defendant, Steven Cappuccio, was convicted of six felonies. The 53-year-old resident of Falls Church, Virginia, was handed 85 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release, the DOJ said.
The duo separately attended Mr. Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before marching to the Capitol. Mr. Klein was in the first wave of rioters to enter the tunnel, according to prosecutors.
Mr. Cappuccio allegedly ripped off a police officer’s gas mask during the riot, causing the officer’s head and neck to be “yanked violently in various directions,” the DOJ said.
More than 1,100 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing, according to the DOJ.
Last month, a 34-year-old resident of Colorado Springs was found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding, a felony offense, and five misdemeanor offenses in relation to his actions at the Capitol. Jacob Travis Clark was handed a 33-month prison sentence and 12 months of supervised release.
Separately, Richard L. Harris, a 43-year-old man from Oregon, was sentenced to 41 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release for assaulting law enforcement and climbing on presidential statues. He was convicted of five felonies and six misdemeanor offenses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times