A political appointee of former US President Donald Trump was arrested by the FBI on Thursday in connection with the January Sixth US Capitol riots, US media reported.
Former State Department Employee Federico Guillermo Klein is the first Trump administration official to face criminal charges in connection with the riots, according to the New York Times. Prosecutors said that a ruling on a jail sentence is pending trial slated for next Wednesday.
The FBI took him into custody in Virginia, Politico reported, after he was identified by tipsters who recognized him from an FBI lookout bulletin which had been issued two weeks after the riots took place. On Friday, he made an appearance by teleconference in Washington in front of US Magistrate Zia M. Faruqui, where he reportedly complained about the conditions of his detention.
He was charged with multiple felonies including; "unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon," NYT reported.
Klein is alleged to have assaulted officers with a stolen riot shield while resisting arrest, before using it to prop open Capitol doors. He also allegedly called for reinforcement from the crowd.
The Washington Post described his conduct during the riots as having lost his "Make America Great Again" hat on the ground, losing it on the ground before finding another one that was not his.
During the time of the insurrection Klein reportedly possessed "top-secret security clearance," that had last been renewed in 2019.
Klein, who began working as a political appointee in the State Department in 2017, resigned from the position 13 days after the insurrection on January 19, the day before President Joe Biden's inauguration. Prior to that, in 2016, he worked as a "tech analysist" for Trump's campaign. He has been politically active in the Republican Party since at least 2008, the Post reported.On Tuesday, FBI Director Chris Wray old lawmakers that the bureau views the actions of the rioters on Jan. 6 as "domestic terrorism," and vowed to hold them accountable.