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Judge orders former Trump appointee charged in Capitol riot to remain in jail

This case is the most direct tie yet between the attack on the Capitol and former President Donald Trump.

WASHINGTON — A former State Department appointee during the Trump Administration will remain behind bars as he awaits trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Federico Klein is the first appointee of former President Donald Trump to be charged in connection with the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. He’s accused of attacking officers with a police shield and was allegedly captured on video inciting the mob, yelling, “...we need fresh people...” as part of the first wave battling officers in the Capitol tunnels.

Klein resigned from the State Department 13 days later.

Credit: DOJ
A still from a bodycam video the FBI says captured Federico Klein participating in the Capitol riot.

He was arrested earlier this month after a number of witnesses, including a former state department co-worker, saw his picture on FBI U.S. Capitol Violence Wanted posters and turned him in. He faces six charges, including obstruction of Congress and assaulting, resisting or impeding a federal officer with a dangerous weapon. Those two charges alone carry potentially decades in prison.

In federal court Tuesday, prosecutors pointed to Klein’s “violent and enthusiastic participation in the mob’s efforts to break into the Capitol Building by assaulting police officers," and said he posed a danger to the community if released.

Klein’s attorney argued that he was simply caught up in the chaos and no worse than many of the other Capitol riot defendants already released from jail before trial.

That argument failed to move federal magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui, however, who ruled Klein would remain behind bars for the time being. 

Klein is one of more than 250 defendants now charged in connection with the Capitol riot. The date of his next hearing has not been set.

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