Trump State Department Aide Federico Klein Convicted in Jan. 6 Case

Trump State Department Aide Federico Klein Convicted in Jan. 6 Case
Amid widespread concerns related to election integrity, people demonstrate on the National Mall in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

A former President Donald Trump aide who worked at the State Department has been convicted in relation to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach.

Federico “Freddie” Klein was convicted on multiple assault charges and other felony offenses on July 20 by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee.

His co-defendant Steven Cappuccio was also convicted on similar charges, although the judge found him not guilty of an obstruction charge and a misdemeanor after determining that he “was not politically savvy enough to intend to stop the electoral vote count,” according to the Washington Post.

Judge McFadden heard testimony from Mr. Klein, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, without a jury before convicting him of 12 counts, including six charging him with assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers.

Mr. Klein was placed under house arrest and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3.

The Epoch Times has contacted his lawyer Stanley Woodward for comment.

Mr. Klein was initially arrested on March 4, 2021, and released from custody on April 12.

Prosecutors said in court filings (pdf) that Mr. Klein was among the “thousands of people” who descended on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and attempted to interrupt the joint session of Congress as it certified the votes of the Electoral College for the 2020 Presidential Election.

NTD Photo
Federico Klein, (top 2nd L), is seen in a handout by the FBI seeking information on the breach of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (FBI)

Klein ‘Ignored’ Police Orders

According to prosecutors, Mr. Klein traveled from his home in Washington, D.C. to the Capitol and joined Mr. Cappuccio and others to form a “group of rioters who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol grounds that day.”

The group overwhelmed police lines before entering a tunnel leading to a Capitol building entrance in which “dozens of other rioters were confronting police,” according to court documents.

“As Klein stood at the front of the police line, officers yelled, ‘Move back!’ to the rioters and attempted to move the rioters back,” court documents state.

“Klein ignored the orders and pushed hard against the police officers. Klein told the officers, ‘You can’t stop this!’ As Klein continued to push forward, Officer Laschon Harvell attempted to push Klein back with his baton, but Klein pressed back against him, driving his left shoulder into Officer Harvell repeatedly, ” the court documents continue.

At that point, according to prosecutors, police were forced to retreat.

“In the tunnel, Klein yelled at officers, ignored commands to leave, and maintained his ground at the forefront of the mob of rioters. He reached towards the police line and attempted to grab a police shield, but was unsuccessful,” prosecutors said. “Klein used both of his arms and his body to forcefully push against officers, including Officer Acquilino Gonell. As a result of Klein’s and other rioters’ pushing, one officer fell to the ground,” they continued.

Klein Had ‘Top Secret Security Clearance’

Prosecutors further claimed that Mr. Klein took a stolen USCP riot shield and, “with the help of another rioter, successfully wedged the riot shield” in between two doors so that officers could not shut them out of the Capitol building.

“With the shield as a wedge, Klein and other rioters pried the doors open again and continued their attacks on the police in the tunnel, which lasted for more than two more hours,” the court document states.

Mr. Klein eventually left the tunnel around 10 minutes later after getting a chemical irritant spray in his eyes, according to prosecutors, but returned shortly after rinsing out his eyes, this time carrying several bottles of water for other demonstrators.

Court document state that Mr. Klein again “joined the rioters aggressively pushing in unison against the police line” leading to some officers being crushed. He also filmed the demonstration and called for “fresh people” to push through the officers, prosecutors said.

Mr. Klein was the first Trump appointee to be charged in a Capitol breach case.

According to a ProPublica database, he joined the State Department’s Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs in 2017 after previously working on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Mr. Klein’s lawyer previously said in a 2022 court filing (pdf) that his client had held a “top secret” security clearance in his role at the State Department and that he had no intent to injure anyone during the Capital Breach, not had he injured anyone during the incident.

“Mr. Klein, thus far, has been more as an observer than a participant. I haven’t seen anything in terms of real participation other than picking up a flag and handing it to someone in the back,” his lawyer said, citing comments made by a previous judge in the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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