- Federico Klein, the Trump appointee charged after the Capitol riot, will be jailed until his trial.
- “This was a group of people trying to do one thing, which is to stop democracy,” the judge said.
- Prosecutors said Klein was among the first wave of rioters and fought police officers.
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A judge decided Federico “Freddie” Klein, the US State Department official who participated in the Capitol riot, will remain in jail until his criminal trial.
A former State Department official who held a “top secret” security clearance, Klein is the first known political appointee of President Donald Trump to participate in the mob. Klein had also worked on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“The defendant placed himself in that chaotic riot,” Judge Zia M. Faruqui said in his ruling. “This was a group of people trying to do one thing, which is to stop democracy.”
Jocelyn Bond, the lead prosecutor in the case, said at the hearing Tuesday Klein was “among the first wave of rioters” to storm the Capitol building as Congress conducted its Constitutionally mandated duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The riot followed a rally where Trump falsely claimed the election was rigged and said Congress shouldn’t certify the results. Prosecutors said Klein carried an apparently stolen police shield.
“Klein was in the tunnel physically fighting against the front line of officers,” prosecutors wrote in a detention memo reviewed by Insider. “Notably, one video captured Klein encouraging other rioters to attempt to breach the Capitol by shouting, ‘We need fresh people, we need fresh people’ multiple times.”
Video footage obtained by FBI agents and cited in court documents shows Klein participating in the mob and fought police officers to get into the Capitol building. Klein’s face was included in an FBI bulletin and was recognized by a fellow State Department employee, prosecutors said.
“Federico Klein chose to put himself in the thick of the violence aimed at breaking through the center doorway on the Lower West Terrace to gain entrance to the Capitol Building,” prosecutors wrote. “He used physical violence against officers who were protecting the entrance, and his individual participation in the larger mob heightened the overall violence and dangerousness of the day.”
In the detention memo, prosecutors said Klein should remain in jail ahead of a criminal trial. They said his employment at the State Department should be factored into the judge’s decision, and that Klein “demonstrated contempt” for his oath to the Constitution when “he assaulted officers in an attempt to stop the certification of a lawful election.” Klein didn’t resign from his position until after his participation in the insurrection.
“Despite the trust the country and government placed in Klein’s character, stability, trustworthiness, reliability, discretion, honesty, judgment, and unquestionable loyalty to the United States, Klein’s behavior revealed that his true allegiance lies elsewhere,” prosecutors wrote. “Rather, Klein’s actions established that his own personal beliefs override the rule of law and that he will use violence in an attempt to halt the legitimate functions of the United States government with which he disagrees.”
Faruqui agreed with the prosecutors, saying Klein should have known not to fight police officers and take their equipment given the fact that the was a State Department official.
“He should have known better,” Faruqui said.
Stanley Woodward, an attorney representing Klein, told Faruqui other people accused of more violent crimes in the insurrection have been released from jail, and so his client should be too.
In a previous court hearing, Faruqui ordered that Klein be moved to a different jail in Washington, DC, after he had complained about cockroaches in his cell.