Over the last two months, the FBI has been working hard to track down and arrest individuals believed to have committed crimes as part of the violent riot that disrupted proceedings at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. Now, the bureau is making big moves on that front.
Politico reports that Federico Klein, who worked as a low-level staffer at the State Department during the Trump administration, was arrested Thursday in Virginia for his alleged role in the unrest.
The 42-year-old is now facing several felony charges, including assault on police officers, interfering with police during civil disorder, and obstructing official proceedings, among other less serious offenses.
Politico reports that Klein’s arrest marks “the first known instance of an appointee of President Donald Trump facing criminal prosecution in connection” with the Capitol riot.
Trump-era aide arrested
According to Politico, Klein served as a “tech analyst” for then-candidate Trump’s 2016 campaign, and after Trump was elected president, he joined the State Department as a low-level appointee.
Per official records, Klein worked within the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, including at the Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs, prior to transferring to the office that handles Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
He is believed to be a former U.S. Marine and was said to have held Top Secret security clearance at the time of the riot. In fact, he was still a federal employee at that point, as he didn’t resign from his position until the day after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Politico noted.
More than 300 charged
According to a “Statement of Facts” from the FBI, Klein was spotted by investigators in video footage of the Capitol attack, and his picture was posted on a “wanted” bulletin that led to multiple tips.
The agent who wrote the Statement of Facts said Klein was observed, in both police bodycam footage as well as “open source” videos of the riot posted online, “resisting officers, attempting to take items from officers, and assaulting officers with a riot shield.”
More specifically, Klein stands accused of having “physically and verbally engaged” with police in a manner that prevented them from dispersing the crowd, of stealing a riot shield from a police officer, of using that shield as both a weapon against officers and a wedge to force open a door, and of encouraging other riot participants to act unlawfully.
According to NBC News, Klein is now one of more than 300 individuals who are facing charges related to the unrest at the Capitol building.
If convicted, Klein is facing upwards of 20 years in prison, Politico notes.