Federico Klein, who lives in the DC area and passes Freddie, is the first known Trump administration political officer to be arrested for participating in the siege. Federal authorities noted that Klein, who is also a former Trump campaign employee, was conducting a top-secret security clearance at the time of the riot and left the State Department at the end of the administration.
Investigators found several pictures of Klein in the riot, who allegedly used a police riot sign to open an entrance for rioters and fight a police line for several minutes, according to his affidavit. Klein wore a red Make America Great Again hat and transformed into a United States Marine Corps hat during the uprising, investigators say.
Klein is charged with six offenses, including attacking officials with a dangerous weapon, forcibly entering Capitol grounds, and obstructing law enforcement and Congress. Around 300 people were charged with crimes related to the siege.
He will be held in prison until at least March 9, when an extended hearing will take place so the judge can hear the prosecutor’s arguments for holding him and Klein’s replies through his lawyers.
“It’s really impossible for me to do anything at this point,” Klein said during his first court appearance on Friday when the court was discussing hiring a lawyer. He was represented in court by a public defender on Friday.
“I wonder if there is a place where I can stay in custody where cockroaches don’t crawl over me while I try to sleep,” Klein also told Judge Zia Faruqui. “I haven’t really slept at all, Your Honor.”
Faruqui told Klein he was only in a temporary detention center and was being moved.
Klein worked in the Foreign Ministry’s office for Brazilian and Southern bowling affairs from 2017 to 2021. At one point he moved from this Western Hemisphere office to the Freedom of Information Act division, which, according to several sources familiar with his work, handles requests for public records received by the department.
He also assisted the department’s transition team, a State Department spokesman said Friday.
He was paid nearly $ 13,000 by the Trump campaign in 2016, the Federal Election Commission’s financial reports show.
The State Department said Friday that his resignation took effect on Jan. 21 – the typical departure date for those appointed by the Trump administration who stayed until the end of Trump’s presidency.
Tipper and witnesses eventually identified Klein after his resignation from the state to the FBI after his picture was featured on a law enforcement poster seeking information about unidentified rioters. In mid-February, a former State Department employee of Klein spoke to the FBI and a State Department diplomatic security agent and further identified him from photos of the siege following his arrest.
A State Department spokesman referred questions about Klein’s case to the Justice Department, which is prosecuting him.
The State Department’s lack of response in the days following the uprising was noteworthy even in the Trump cabinet.
In the aftermath of the riot, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned rioters on Twitter who overran and injured the police, broke into the Capitol and occupied the Senate Chamber as lawmakers tried to officially mark President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. However, Pompeo never pointed a finger at Trump for encouraging the rioters and tried to praise the president’s track record during his final days in office.
“Look what happened that day was terrible and I have repeatedly said that those involved in this activity must be identified and prosecuted. They are criminals and should be treated as such,” Pompeo said to Hugh Hewitt, a Conservative radio host. “But history will reflect on the good job this president and our administration have done.”
Pompeo’s response prompted State Department officials to write a dissent channel asking him to denounce Trump’s role in the uprising. Pompeo never did.
CNN’s Christina Carrega and Mary Kay Mallonee contributed to this report.