By Steve Neavling
The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to impose a 10-year sentence on a political appointee of former President Trump after he was convicted of assaulting law enforcement officers as he tried to storm the U.S. Capitol.
Federico G. Klein, a 42-year-old former State Department aide, should serve a decade in prison after he “joined a large mob fighting against the police on the West Plaza,” federal protectors wrote.
Klein was convicted in July of eight felonies, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officers with a dangerous weapon.
Videos showed Klein, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, resisting and assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, and storming the Capitol with a pro-Trump mob.
Before working at the State Department, Klein was on Trump’s presidential campaign team.
At the time of the riot, Klein was a State Department employee with Top Secret security clearance. He is the first member of Trump’s administration to be arrested in the riot.
“Klein quickly pushed his way to the front-left side of the crowd and to the doorway to the Capitol building, where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line,” the F.B.I. said.
According to prospectors, Klein “strongly believed that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen’ from former President Trump. So much so that in the weeks after the election, Klein took time off from work at the State Department to volunteer to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he investigated claims of voter fraud. Because of this strong belief and his participation in the volunteer effort, he was also keenly aware of the options available to challenge the election results.”
Prosecutors argue that Klein “was likely motivated by a personal benefit — namely, continued employment as a political appointee — when he attacked the U.S. Capitol.”
They referred to a text message he sent before Jan. 6: “Hell yea I’m going. I’m a Trump appointee. I better be there. It IS my job.”