A man who worked as a State Department official during the Trump administration was sentenced to 70 months in prison Friday for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Federico Guillermo Klein was convicted on 12 counts in July, including six that charged him with assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers, after a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden. His co-defendent, Steven Cappuccio, was also convicted for actions related to the insurrection.
During the sentencing on Friday, McFadden said Klein “betrayed” his office, and described several of Klein’s violent actions during the riot, among them beating and shoving police officers with a riot shield.
“Your actions on January 6 were shocking and egregious,” McFadden told Klein, as reported by CNN.
Klein, a former Marine, was the first known member of the Trump administration to be criminally charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot. He was arrested in March 2021 after video footage and photos identified him in a mob of Trump supporters attempting to push through the Capitol doors, even after officers repeatedly warned him and others to back up, The New York Times reported.
Klein held a Top Secret security clearance on the day of the riot, CNN reported.
According to court documents, Klein was seen in videos from the riot calling out “We need fresh people, we need fresh people” to others in the crowd. Photos also showed Klein wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, which investigators say he replaced with a Marine Corps hat during the riot.
The FBI said in court documents that Klein “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.” He then used the shield to stop the doors from closing.
During the sentencing on Friday, former U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell again described his encounter with Klein on Jan. 6, confirming to the court that Klein attacked him multiple times with the police shield. He asked how Klein could be involved in such an attack, as “someone who took the same oath as I did” to protect the Constitution.
Klein’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, defended his actions to the court, CNN reported. Woodward argued that Klein’s actions during the riot were “not a betrayal” of his service in the military or the State Department, and described the events of Jan. 6 as “a protest turned wrong.” He also asserted that Klein did not plan the Jan. 6 attack and that “no one person caused January 6.”
Klein worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and was hired at the State Department after Trump took office. He continued to work at the department after the insurrection but resigned on Jan. 19, 2021, one day before Joe Biden’s inauguration, The Washington Post reported.