Who is Federico Klein? Wiki, Biography, Age, Arrest
Court documents show that a former State Department deputy under President Donald Trump was accused of participating in the deadly siege of the Capitol Building and attacking officers trying to protect the building.
This was the first known case against a person appointed by Trump in the January 6 uprising that led to Trump’s historic second indictment.
According to newspapers, Federico Klein, who also worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, was seen wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in the middle of a crowd of people trying to enter Parliament on January 6. Klein made his way through the doors, which the authorities called “physically and verbally busy” with the officers trying to keep the crowd back.
On camera, Klein was seen violently putting a riot shield at an officer and provoking the crowd while trying to cross the police line and shouting, “We need new people, we need new people,” according to the accusation documents.
As the authorities grappled with the crowd of police in the tunnel, Klein pushed the riot shield stolen from an officer between the Capitol gates and prevented the police from shutting them down. Authorities say that eventually an officer used chemical spray and forced Klein to move elsewhere.
Klein was arrested Thursday in Virginia and faces charges, including obstructing Congress and attacking officers using a dangerous weapon. He was in custody every Friday and could not be reached for comment. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf. A Trump spokesperson said he did not comment.
At least five people died violently, including a Capitol Police officer, and two other police officers later killed themselves. More than 300 people are on trial for federal crimes. According to a financial disclosure report, Klein became a staff assistant at the State Department shortly after Trump took office in 2017. According to court documents, it had a top secret security clearance renewed in 2019. Officials said that Joe Biden resigned from his post on January 19, the day before he was sworn in as president.
Officials said one of Klein’s colleagues at the State Department helped identify the officials.
A State Department diplomatic security special agent interviewed with an FBI agent said that according to court documents, Klein worked in Brazil and the Southern Cone Affairs Office. Officials said the State Department official identified Klein in photos and videos shown by the FBI.
Federico Klein is facing charges of violent and disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer and obstructing Congress and law enforcement, the agency said.
Klein once worked as a “tech analyst” for Trump’s 2016 campaign before becoming a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, according to Politico.
On Jan. 6, the 42-year-old “physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line” at the U.S. Capitol Building, “thereby affecting their ability to disperse the crowd,” an FBI special agent tasked with investigating Klein wrote in a criminal complaint.
The complaint, citing police body camera footage, alleged that Klein ignored repeated orders from law enforcement to back away from two sets of doors leading to the interior of the Capitol.
“Instead… he violently shoved a riot shield that apparently had been taken from an officer, towards the officers trying to stop the mob from gaining access to the building,” it read. “In doing so, KLEIN pushed the riot shield in between the doors to the Capitol, preventing officers from closing the doors.”
Another video captured Klein calling out for reinforcements, the complaint alleged.
“In one open-source video posted on YouTube, while a mob of people assaulted and struggled with law enforcement KLEIN was captured at approximately minute 10:37 of the video calling back to the crowd behind him, ‘We need fresh people, need fresh people’ multiple times,” it read.
The announcement of his arrest comes as The Associated Press obtained hundreds of emails, texts, photos and documents shedding new light on the sprawling patchwork of law enforcement agencies that tried to stop the siege and the lack of coordination and inadequate planning that stymied their efforts.
The AP obtained the materials through 35 Freedom of Information Act requests to law enforcement agencies that responded to the Capitol Hill riot.
Two firefighters who had been loaned to Washington for the day were the only medics on the Capitol steps on Jan. 6, trying to triage injured officers as they watched the angry mob swell and attack police working to protect Congress.
Law enforcement agents were “being pulled into the crowd and trampled, assaulted with scaffolding materials, and/or bear maced by protesters,” wrote Arlington County firefighter Taylor Blunt in an after-action memo. Some couldn’t walk and had to be dragged to safety.
Even the attackers sought medical help, and Blunt and his colleague Nathan Waterfall treated those who were passing out or had been hit. But some “feigned illness to remain behind police lines,” Blunt wrote.
Five people died in the attack, including a police officer. Two other officers later killed themselves. There were hundreds of injuries and more than 300 people have been charged with federal crimes. Federal agents are still investigating, and hundreds more suspects are at large. Justice Department officials have said they may charge some with sedition.
The Arlington firefighters ended up at the Capitol because, two days earlier, Washington Metro Police Chief Robert J. Contee had formally asked the Arlington County Police Department, along with police departments from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and Arlington County in Virginia, to lend them some officers trained for protests and riots, according to the documents.
Arlington’s acting police chief, Andy Penn, said they’d send help for the “planned and unplanned first amendment activities,” according to emails.
At the time, the Capitol Police department had issued a security assessment warning that militia members, White supremacists and other extremists were heading to Washington to target Congress in what they saw as a “last stand” to support then-President Trump.