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Trump Appointee Federico Klein Charged With Violence In Capitol Insurrection

Federico Klein, a State Department aide appointed by former President Donald Trump, was arrested by the F.B.I. last Thursday after being identified as one of the leaders of the January 6 Capitol insurrection. A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that Klein will remain in police custody until his trial, likely months away.

Klein is accused of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions; and knowingly engaging in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; or attempts or conspiring to do so.

Klein worked on the Trump campaign in 2016, mostly in low-level positions. When he became a State Department aide as a Trump appointee, however, he was granted top-secret information clearance, which was renewed as recent as 2019. Klein’s social media accounts paint him as a staunch conservative with significant religious beliefs.

F.B.I. Special Agent Benjamin G. Fulp, the agent investigating criminal activity from the January 6 Capitol insurrection, released a 16-page statement which ties Klein to the most brutal violence that occurred on Capitol Hill. In the F.B.I. report, Fulp said, “multiple open-source videos captured Klein inciting the mob and trying to break through the police line in the Lower West Terrace tunnel and into the Capitol building.”

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Fulp also describes Klein stopping police from helping an officer that was swarmed by rioters. “Officers discovered that a known MPD Officer had been dragged into the crowd … MPD Officers rushed into the crowd to attempt a recovery as the officers verbally announced, “Officer down. Move, move, get out of the way.” As officers move through the crowd to reach Officer 4 another known MPD Officer (hereinafter “Officer 5”) encountered Klein. The encounter was captured by Officer 5’s [body camera]. As Officer 5 went to retrieve Officer, he stated, “Move, move!” Klein remarked, “No way.” Another officer stated, “Let me get my friend.”

Magistrate Zia Faruqui heard Klein’s case on Tuesday. After hearing both arguments, the magistrate said, “The defendant [Klein] placed himself in that chaotic riot, and this was not a riot with many people on different sides. There was a chaotic riot of law enforcement trying to protect democracy of the United States of America and people trying to breach the line and prevent that from occurring.”

Faruqui denied Klein and his legal team’s request for bail saying, “There is a real danger of violence, and if someone is an organizer or leader or someone’s in a position of authority, and they are not detained they may go back and seek to conduct such violence.”

Klein will be held in police custody until his trial date, which has not yet been named. Klein is the first member of Trump’s administration to be arrested in connection with the Capitol insurrection.

Brandon Mumei

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