According to the federal prosecutor’s office, Federico Klein was caught on several police camera videos wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in the midst of the crowd that tried to force their way into the US Capitol on January 6th. He is the only known Trump commissioner swept into the sprawling federal investigation into the fatal injury. Federal Bureau of Investigations hide caption
Federal Investigation Office
A former State Department employee in the Trump administration accused of being at the forefront of the “first wave” of the violent mob that stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 is being held pending trial Judge appointed on Tuesday.
US Magistrate Zia Faruqui said Federico Klein’s alleged role in the deadly siege while he was a government official made him a threat to the community. He is the only known Trump commissioner involved in the far-reaching federal investigation.
“There were enemies at the heart of American democracy, and one person swearing an oath switched sides,” Faruqui said.
The 42-year-old is charged on six counts, including obstructing an official process, obstructing law enforcement and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon.
Court documents, which include multiple screenshots from police officers’ body camera footage and open source videos posted on YouTube, show Klein as a conspiracy theorist out to use violent means to lead a crowd of rioters to the Capitol. Federal prosecutors said the videos confirmed that Klein was in the Lower West Terrace tunnel, physically fighting the officers’ front lines, and even attacking officers with a shield he stole from them.
Court records read:
“Klein’s willing and enthusiastic participation in violence against police officers protecting a lawful process of Congress for which he is charged with several crimes, including one violent crime, speaks strongly in favor of imprisonment. Not just his individual behavior and his encouragement towards fellow rioters violent and dangerous, but his actions increased the general violence and dangerousness of the day. “
“One video caught Klein encouraging other rioters to try to break through the Capitol by shouting several times, ‘We need fresh people, we need fresh people’.”
From 2017 until his resignation on January 19 and 13 after the uprising, Klein worked as a political officer in the Foreign Ministry. A spokesman told NPR that he had worked as a special assistant in the Western Hemisphere Affairs Office and as a staff assistant on the transition team and had a top-secret clearance that was renewed in 2019. Klein also worked on the 2016 Trump campaign.
“Mr. Klein is disappointed with the outcome of today’s hearing, and particularly with the government’s suggestion that the mere allegation of his participation in the January 6 events poses a threat to his community,” Klein’s attorney Stanley Woodward told NPR in an email.
In separate interviews with other news outlets, Woodward described the government’s case against Klein as “speculative” and said the court should consider his client’s military and government careers when it comes to his continued detention. And while he did not admit that it was Klein who was depicted in the evidence so far presented, Woodward argued that the “chaos” of the scene made it difficult for the rioters to follow instructions shouted to them by police officers.
However, prosecutors argued that his past is exactly what makes Klein such a threat.
“This wasn’t juvenile indiscretion or someone who didn’t know any better,” said US assistant attorney Jocelyn Bond, adding that Klein had fought officers for half an hour in “hand-to-hand combat” while urging others to join him . Bond also said Klein had “essentially attacked his own government”.
The judge said Klein had “literally instructed people” to confront officers.
In an interview last week, Cecilia Klein said she was shocked about her son’s arrest.
“Like everyone else, I watched those numb nuts climb the walls on January 6th. … It never occurred to me that Fred would be a part of it,” she said.