POLITICS

News24.com | Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

  • A former Donald Trump appointee was arrested in connection with the 6 January insurrection.
  • Former State Department aide Federico Klein was charged with unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct.
  • He was seen on video assaulting police officers.

The FBI has arrested a former State Department aide from the administration of former US president Donald Trump in connection with the 6 January storming of the United States Capitol, according to US media.

Federico Klein was charged with unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, and obstructing Congress and law enforcement, the New York Times reported.

READ | US police warn of new militant plot to ‘breach’ Capitol

He is the first member of the Trump administration to be implicated in the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the former president in an attempt to overturn the results of the November presidential election which Trump disputed.

The newspaper reported that 42-year-old Klein had worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign and began working at the State Department shortly after Trump’s victory.

The violence left five dead.

Top-secret security clearance

A former colleague told the Politico news site that Klein had worked with the office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs before being transferred to the office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Trump appointee was seen in videos of the riot assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, federal investigators said in court documents obtained by the Times.

He is wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and is seen trying to push through a line of officers in a tunnel near the west terrace of the Capitol building and also tried to push through a doorway into the complex, “where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line”, the document says.

The FBI said Klein was still employed by the State Department at the time of the incident, and maintained top-secret security clearance.

The bureau had previously released Klein’s photo, and received tips identifying him.

Federal prosecutors have so far charged more than 300 people in connection with the US Capitol breach. Those include members of the far-right Proud Boys group and the Oath Keepers militia.

Trump was also impeached by the House of Representatives on the charge of “incitement of insurrection” for his campaign of disinformation leading up to the riot and a rally he gave moments before the Capitol breach.

He was later acquitted in a Senate trial.

The former president could still potentially face federal and local charges for his alleged role in inciting the violence.

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