Court documents show that former State Department aides in the administration of President Donald Trump have been accused of participating in the deadly siege of the Capitol and attacking officers trying to protect the building.
This was the first known case against Trump appointees in the January 6 riots, which led to Trump’s second historic impeachment.
Federico Klein, who also worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, was seen wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat amid the throng of people in a tunnel trying to force their way into the Capitol on Jan. 6, the papers say. Klein pushed his way toward the doors, where, authorities say, “he physically and verbally engaged” with officers trying to keep the mob back.
Klein was seen on camera violently shoving a riot shield into an officer and inciting the crowd as it tried to storm past the police line, shouting, “We need fresh people, we need fresh people,” according to the charging documents.
As the mob struggled with police in the tunnel, Klein pushed the riot shield, which had been stolen from an officer, in between the Capitol doors, preventing police from closing them, authorities say. Eventually, an officer used chemical spray, forcing Klein to move somewhere else, officials say.
Klein was arrested Thursday in Virginia and faces charges including obstructing Congress and assaulting officers using a dangerous weapon.
He was detained on Friday and could not be reached for comment. It is not clear whether he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf. A Trump spokesperson said he did not comment.
The violent attack resulted in the death of at least five people, including congressional policemen, who were subsequently killed, and two other policemen committed suicide. More than 300 people have been charged with federal crimes.
A financial disclosure report showed that Klein became an assistant to the State Department of Staff shortly after Trump took office in 2017. According to court documents, he holds the top secret security check, which has been renewed in 2019. Authorities say he resigned on January 19, the day before Joe Biden was sworn in as president.
Officials said that a State Department colleague of Klein helped the authorities find him.
A Department of State diplomatic security special agent interviewed by an FBI agent said that Klein worked in the Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs, according to the court papers. The Department of State official identified Klein in photos and video shown by the FBI, officials said.