Former Trump Aide Charged With Assault in Capitol Riot

Prosecutors say the ex-State Department aide incited the Capitol mob as it tried to breach police lines and hit an officer with a riot shield.

Police push back rioters trying to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(CN) — Former State Department aide Federico Klein is in custody on Friday after being charged with assaulting officers at the U.S. Capitol during the January insurrection.

Court records show that Klein, appointed by former President Donald Trump, was arrested on Thursday in Virginia by the FBI on charges stemming from the violent Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Klein, 42, had served as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs since 2017 after working for Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

Prosecutors say Klein assaulted law enforcement officers who were trying to prevent the pro-Trump mob from entering the Capitol through the tunnel at the lower west terrace of the building.

As the crowd struggled against the officers, Klein was allegedly seen pushing toward the doors where “he physically and verbally engaged” with Capitol Police.

Footage of the siege appears to show Klein wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while violently slamming a riot shield into an officer in an attempt to breach the police line.

This was 15 minutes after Klein had used the stolen riot shield to form a wedge in the door that the officers were trying to secure, according to court documents.

He was also allegedly seen on camera yelling, “We need fresh people, we need fresh people,” inciting the growing crowd as it tried to overtake the police line and storm the building.

The mob had formed in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the votes of the 2020 presidential election won by President Joe Biden. The riot unfolded shortly after then-President Trump delivered a speech in which he urged the crowd to march to the Capitol and said, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Klein’s charges include obstructing Congress and assaulting officers using a dangerous weapon. He could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The former aide is the first known member of the Trump administration to face charges connected to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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