Federico Klein, a former Trump appointee to the State Department, was charged Thursday with allegedly assaulting a Metropolitan Police Officer using a deadly weapon during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
According to an expanded indictment, Klein, "using a deadly or dangerous weapon, that is, a shield, did forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, and interfere with an officer and employee of the United States."
Though Klein was first charged individually on March 19 for his actions on January 6, the Justice Department combined his case with that of six other defendants, and two individuals yet to be charged, on July 29.
The superseding indictment alleged that Klein was part of a wave of rioters who engaged in a violent conflict with police officers in the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol and a nearby tunnel between 2:40 p.m. and 3:18 p.m. ET. In videos released by the Justice Department, rioters, including Klein, allegedly engaged in fierce coordinated assaults against the line of police officers attempting to block off the tunnel, using metal poles, riot shields, and other makeshift weapons.
During the first hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6 — assembled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after an initial bipartisan commission failed to come together amid GOP pushback — Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) said that she and another member of Congress were sheltering in an office "40 paces" from the tunnel where rioters, including Klein, were fighting police officers attempting to hold them off from progressing farther.
She credited law enforcement from keeping her alive.
"I listened to you struggle," she told officers testifying during that hearing, who had been present at the Capitol and had pushed back the mob. "I listened to you yelling out to one another. I listened to you care for one another… I listened to people coughing, having difficulty breathing. And then I listened to you getting back into the fight."
She added, "The reason I was able to hug [my children] again was because of the courage you and other officers showed that day."
A video released by the Justice Department indeed appears to show Klein allegedly pushing his way to the front of a group of rioters attempting to break through a police line in that tunnel.
According to D.C. CBS affiliate WUSA9, in the footage, Klein appears to grab at a riot shield in the hands of an MPD officer before ultimately picking up a large metal pole, all while urging on the other rioters and allegedly calling for mob reinforcements.
Klein, along with the six other is currently facing at least eight charges, including multiple counts of assaulting a police officer.
According to WUSA9, Klein was turned in by his former State Department colleagues who saw his photo on an FBI wanted poster following the attack.
The January 6 insurrection ultimately resulted in several deaths, tens of millions of dollars in repairs, and more than 600 separate charges. At least 140 law enforcement officers, both Capitol and Metropolitan Police, were injured in the attack; several who guarded the Capitol that day have since died by suicide.
Despite the damage, many Republican lawmakers, as well as former President Donald Trump, who was impeached for incitement of insurrection related to that attack, have attempted to rewrite what happened that day, insisting, among other things, that the incident was little more than a "tourist" visit, or that members of the mob were actually "antifa" activists dressed as Trump supporters, claims which are not rooted in reality and have been repeatedly debunked.
The House committee's inquiry into the matter is ongoing, and separate investigations by federal law enforcement are also underway.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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