According to The Washington Post, a criminal complaint reveals that a political appointee of former President Donald Trump was arrested on Thursday on charges that he participated in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Federal agents arrested Federico Guillermo Klein, 42, a former State Department aide, on multiple felony charges related to the Capitol riot, according to a criminal complaint published by the New York Times. (Politico first reported the arrest.) The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Friday.
Klein, who is also a former Trump campaign employee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Friday. It is unclear if he has hired a lawyer.
Klein was still employed at the State Department as a staff assistant on Jan. 6 when he joined a mob in a tunnel leading into the U.S. Capitol, the FBI said. Then he allegedly “physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line” at the building’s entrance, according to the complaint. After ignoring officers’ orders to move back, he assaulted officers with a riot shield that had been stolen from police, the complaint said, and then used the shield to wedge open a door into the Capitol.
According to the complaint, Klein at one point was recorded on video shouting for more people to come to the front line where police were trying to hold back the mob, yelling: “We need fresh people, need fresh people.”
The Post noted that Klein’s arrest marks “the first member of the former administration arrested in connection with the insurrection.”
Klein had a top-secret security clearance that was renewed in 2019, the FBI said. A LinkedIn profile the FBI identified as Klein’s also lists a top-secret security clearance and shows that Klein has been politically active in the Republican Party since at least 2008, when he began volunteering for political campaigns. Before joining the State Department in 2017, Klein worked for the Trump campaign, which paid him a $15,000 salary.
According to a financial disclosure form filed by Klein, he was appointed as a staff assistant in the State Department on Jan. 22, 2017, days after Trump was sworn in as president. He worked as a special assistant in the Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs, where he was paid $66,510, according to a ProPublica database of Trump appointees and the criminal complaint.
After the insurrection, Klein continued working in the State Department until Jan. 19, when he resigned the day before President Biden’s inauguration, per the complaint.
The Post reported that Klein “faces several felony charges for his alleged role in the riot, including knowingly engaging in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds.”
Politico noted of Klein’s arrest,
The alleged presence of a Trump political appointee at the riot may tie those events more closely to the president, although there is already ample evidence that many of those charged were inspired by Trump’s false claims about widespread election fraud and by his call for supporters to descend on Washington on Jan. 6 for events that he promised would be “wild.”
Image credit: FBI