DOJ seeks 10 years for Trump appointee who assaulted officers on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is seeking 10 years in federal prison for a former political appointee who assaulted law enforcement officers as he tried to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Federico Klein, “a 42-year-old former member of the U.S. Marine Corps and presidential appointee to the State Department” should serve 120 months of incarceration after being convicted of eight felonies — including six assaults — during the Capitol attack when he “joined the large mob fighting against the police on the West Plaza,” federal prosecutors wrote.

Klein is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday at 10 a.m. ET.

Klein, prosecutors wrote, “shoved police officers who were trying to control the crowd and protect the building,” and yelled, “You can’t stop this!” during one assault.

A photo of Federico Klein from his Facebook page.  (FBI)

A photo of Federico Klein from his Facebook page. (FBI)

“At one point, when it appeared the police were going to be able to finally close one set of doors between them and rioters, creating an advantageous barrier, Klein wedged a police riot shield in between the doors, helping to force the doors back open and allowing rioters to continue their assaults on police,” prosecutors wrote, saying Klein was in the tunnel for around 90 minutes in total.

Klein was convicted in July of the eight felonies, including assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, as well as misdemeanor offenses.

Klein, prosecutors say, “strongly believed that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen’ from former President Trump. So much so that in the weeks after the election, Klein took time off from work at the State Department to volunteer to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he investigated claims of voter fraud. Because of this strong belief and his participation in the volunteer effort, he was also keenly aware of the options available to challenge the election results.”

Prosecutors allege that “Klein was likely motivated by a personal benefit — namely, continued employment as a political appointee — when he attacked the U.S. Capitol,” and pointed to this text message he sent before Jan. 6: “Hell yea I’m going. I’m a Trump appointee. I better be there. It IS my job.”

Klein is represented by Stanley Woodward, who has represented numerous Trump aides drawn into federal investigations. In a defense sentencing memo, Woodward wrote that “No one person is responsible for the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021″ but that the government had portrayed Klein as “playing a disproportionate role in the events that day: because he is a retired Marine; because he was a presidential appointee of Donald J. Trump in the State Department; because he had been entrusted with a security clearance.” Woodward said the evidence “does not support the outsized role he has been accused of playing.”

More than 1,100 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack, and about 400 have received sentences of incarceration, including a record sentence of 22 years in federal prison for former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio. The total number of people who could be arrested tops 3,000, but the statute of limitations expires in just over two years, in January 2026.

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