A former State Department official and Marine Corps veteran who served under former President Trump was sentenced to 70 months in prison on Wednesday for his violent role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Federico Klein participated in one of the most violent incidents during the Jan. 6 siege. Alongside other Trump supporters, he engaged in a clash with outnumbered police at a tunnel entrance on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. Klein not only repeatedly attacked officers but also encouraged fellow rioters to join the fight and attempted to prevent the police from closing the entrance doors. These actions have been reported by federal prosecutors.
Klein “waged a relentless siege on police officers” as he tried to enter the Capitol and stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Trump, prosecutors said in a court filing.
Klein, who didn’t testify at his trial, declined to address the court before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced him to five years and 10 months in prison.
The prosecutors argued that Klein had breached the trust of both the American people and the law, and therefore warranted a substantial sentence as a deterrent to others who might consider engaging in similar behavior. Additionally, they pointed out that Klein had not demonstrated any remorse or willingness to take responsibility for his actions.
“Your actions on January 6th were shocking and egregious,” the judge told Klein.
Klein, the first member of the Trump administration, has become the inaugural person to be sentenced for his role in the Capitol riot. In July, he confessed to obstructing an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.
Bates noted that Reeder’s contrition stood in stark contrast to Klein’s defiance, highlighting the distinction between making a mistake and committing a crime.
“As an employee of the federal government, Klein was endowed with the trust of the American people and to uphold the law. He violated that trust on January 6 when he attacked the very country for which he was paid to work,” prosecutors wrote.
The defense lawyer, Stanley Woodward, has alleged that prosecutors have overstated Klein’s involvement in the riot because of his political ties to the Trump administration.
“Accordingly, Mr. Klein should be sentenced for his actual role in the events of the day, and not the more egregious conduct of others with which the government would have Mr. Klein be found guilty by association,” Woodward wrote.
The judge also drew a comparison between Klein’s case and that of Robert Reeder, another Capitol rioter. Reeder, who was sentenced to six months in prison on the same day as Klein, had no affiliation with the Trump administration. He expressed remorse and apologized for his participation in the riot.
Klein, who also worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, took a break from his job after the 2020 presidential election. He traveled to Nevada to assist in the investigation of the unfounded allegations of voter fraud supported by Trump and his supporters, according to prosecutors.
- Ex-State Department official sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for Capitol riot attacks, Associated Press, November 3, 2023
- Trump State Department official Federico Klein sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for assault on Capitol, CBS News, November 3, 2023
- Former Trump State Department official sentenced to prison for assaulting officers at Capitol riot, Courthouse News Service, November 3, 2023
- Trump State Department appointee gets 70 months for Capitol riot actions, New York Post, November 3, 2023