State Dept. Veteran Assaulted Cops During Congress Invasion Effort
Washington, D.C. – A former Trump administration diplomat was sentenced to nearly six years behind bars Friday for assaulting police during the 2021 Capitol insurrection, one of the longest sentences yet for those involved in the riot.
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden imposed the prison term on Federico Klein, a Marine veteran who resigned his State Department post in the waning days of the Trump presidency. Prosecutors portrayed Klein as consumed with keeping President Trump in power when he repeatedly attacked officers guarding Congress on January 6th.
“Your actions on January 6th were shocking and egregious,” Judge McFadden told the defendant, calling the violence “prolonged mayhem” that Klein spearheaded. The judge determined the 42-year-old’s conduct warranted serious punishment despite his otherwise clean record.
Klein was convicted in July of joining the riot’s most brutal clashes over control of a tunnel on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. Prosecutors said he “waged a relentless siege” there for over an hour while law enforcement fought to keep the mob at bay.
Video showed Klein wrestling shields from police and screaming at officers that rioters were “fresh” and could not be stopped. His attorney argued overzealous prosecutors painted an exaggerated role given Klein’s ties to Trump. But the judge upheld jury verdicts on twelve criminal counts.
The 70-month sentence exceeds most Capitol riot defendants but remains below the 10 years sought by the Justice Department. Klein’s work as a Brazil expert in the State Department’s Western Hemisphere division likely colored the politically-charged prosecution, his lawyer contended.
Nonetheless, Judge McFadden determined Klein intentionally abused his federal position of public trust. By attacking the heart of American democracy, the court concluded the Veteran-turned-diplomat deserved severe reprimand.
Over 850 alleged Capitol siege participants have now plea deal or been found guilty, with around 700 sentenced for crimes related to Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s election on January 6th. Klein becomes the latest to learn even indirect government links cannot protect against accountability for attempting to subvert the peaceful transfer of power.
Image courtesy of Elvert Barnes under CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Claire Marshall is the dedicated Editor-in-Chief of NewNoted, with a lifelong passion for journalism and a commitment to transparent and responsible reporting. Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, she brings a love for storytelling, a devotion to ethics, and a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives to her role at the helm of NewNoted.