Trump appointee Federico Klein sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for January 6

By | November 3, 2023

A Trump appointee at the State Department who assaulted multiple police officers at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced Friday to nearly six years in prison by another administration veteran.

Judge Trevor McFadden said he was “disturbed” that Federico Klein, 45, considered it part of his “duties” to attend the Trump rally that day and join protesters at the Capitol to encourage lawmakers to reject the election in favor of Trump.

“This is a government of laws, not of men,” McFadden said before imposing the 70-month sentence. In addition to the eight crimes he found Klein guilty in bench trial Earlier this year, the judge said Klein’s participation in the riot was “almost certainly a violation of the Hatch Act.” an anti-corruption law this limits civil servants’ engagement in partisan politics.

“I am appointed by Trump. I better be there. This IS my job,” Klein texted an acquaintance before the rally. Klein, who held a top-secret security clearance, wore a red MAGA hat as he joined the crowd heading from the rally to the Capitol. At trial, officers said Klein was at the front of the violent crowd for nearly two hours, first helping to break a line of police guarding the Capitol’s West Terrace and then joining a brutal group. battle against the officers guarding a tunnel in the building.

“I never realized that the greatest threat to our country would come from people sworn to protect it – someone who took the same oath to protect and serve the United States as I did,” said the sergeant. Aquilino Gonell, a Capitol police officer who was in the tunnel on Jan. 6 and who spoke at Klein’s sentencing.

Klein, who could appeal his conviction, declined to speak in court.

Klein repeatedly pushed the officers with a stolen riot shield. He helped pin D.C. police officer Daniel Hodges to a metal door frame while another rioter stole Hodges’ gas mask, and helped trap another officer drawn into the crowd. As the police were about to close the tunnel doors and prevent the rioters from entering, Klein used the shield to block them.

He also shouted encouragement to the crowd, calling for “fresh people”, while shouting at the police: “You can’t stop this!” »

“You were right,” McFadden said in court. “I don’t remember ever seeing anyone assault so many police officers in such a short time.”

Defense attorney Stanley Woodward said that while Klein was “embarrassed,” in his view his involvement in the Jan. 6 attacks was “not a betrayal of his service to the government.” He said Klein “felt it was his duty to be there to support the president” and found himself caught up in “a protest that turned violent.”

Klein worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, after nine years in the Marines and working for a Virginia politician who publicly denounced homosexuals as “perverts” and “monsters” And the Family Research Council, an anti-gay advocacy group. (Prosecutors say Klein refused to share information about this period of his life with a probation officer.) He joined the State Department after the election. Colleagues told Vice Magazine that Klein, from an important Argentinian family with links with the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s, applied for and received a position dealing with South America, but was transferred to handling Freedom of Information Act requests due to his lack of diplomatic skills or training.

Unlike many other rioters, prosecutors noted that Klein had a detailed understanding of the scheme that Trump and his supporters believed they could use to destroy the election.

“Jan. 6,” he texted an acquaintance in December. “Pence will refuse to certify the election, so it will be sent back to the House where each state will get one vote determined by its legislature. We would win by a lot He predicted that Pence would agree to the plan, because if he didn’t, “his political life is over.”

Pence affirmed President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, saying he had no power to change the results, and made the decision part of his 2024 presidential bid. suspended its campaign last weekendknowing that Republican primary voters remain loyal to Trump.

The Supreme Court rejected the idea that state legislatures had such unchecked power earlier this year.

Woodward, whose firm was paid by Trump’s political action committee to defend several of the former president’s aides, said in court that the mob’s attack on the Capitol was “unforgivable” and that ” we cannot have a threat to our peaceful transfer of power.” again.” But, he added, “no one is at the origin of the events of January 6.”

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