Trump appointee arrested over Capitol riot took a police riot shield and fought with officers, affidavit says

Capitol riot  federico klein
Police bodycamera footage from the Capitol riot shows a man prosecutors say they have identified as Federico Klein. Department of Justice
  • Trump State Department appointee Federico Klein fought with police at the Capitol riot, investigators say.
  • They say Klein used a riot shield to attempt to wedge a door to the Capitol open.
  • Footage from the day appears to show Klein brawling with police and trying to push into the building.
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A Trump appointee who has been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot fought police and used a riot shield to wedge the door to the building open, an affidavit said. 

Federico Klein, then an employee of the State Department, is believed to be the first Trump appointee facing charges in relation to the events of January 6.

The document was published late Thursday by The New York Times, which also reported Klein’s arrest.

An FBI agent identified Klein, in a MAGA hat, among the mob that crammed into a tunnel leading to the Lower West Terrace entrance to the Capitol building from surveillance and police body camera footage from the day.

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein is circled in surveillance footage in the tunnel leading to the Lower West Terrace entrance to the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Department of Justice

In the tunnel, Klein pushed to the front of the crowd and “physically and verbally engaged” with police, preventing them from doing their work, the affidavit says. 

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein is caught on police bodycam footage. Department of Justice

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein seen here appearing to reach for an object. Department of Justice

Around half an hour later, he was caught on camera among a crowd trying to push through doors to the building, according to the document.

An officer shouted “back up” six times, a command that Klein ignored, the affidavit says.

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A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein continues attempts to breach the Capitol. Department of Justice
Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein continues attempts to breach the Capitol. Department of Justice

Instead, it says, Klein violently shoved a riot shield at officers, wedging it between the doors and preventing police from shutting them out. He also rammed it into officers in an attempt to breach their line, it said. 

Describing the video footage, the affidavit says Klein was seen “resisting officers, attempting to take items from officers, and assaulting officers with a riot shield.”

The document describes it as “either an MPD or an U.S. Capitol Police riot shield.” It said the shield “apparently had been taken from an officer,” but did not offer details.

He was eventually moved away with the use of chemical irritant spray, it says.

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein in his MAGA hat, which he later removed. Department of Justice

Other footage appears to show Klein brawling with police and encouraging the crowd. “We need more people, we need more people,” he yelled on more than one occasion, according to the footage described. 

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A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein resists police attempts to disperse the mob. Department of Justice

Eventually, the mob was pushed out of the tunnel.

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Federico Klein (circled) being pushed out of the way by police, according to prosecutors. Department of Justice

Outside, it looked like Klein lost his MAGA hat and found another one. 

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein likely looking for his lost MAGA hat. Department of Justice
Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein puts on another hat. Department of Justice

But the investigators said they were able to identify him by a rip in his jacket that also appeared in footage when he was wearing the MAGA hat, marked with a green arrow in the pictures below. 

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The FBI identified as Federico Klein in the new hat by a tear in his jacket, marked by an arrow. Department of Justice
Capitol riot federico klein
The tear in the jacket as seen when he was wearing a MAGA hat. Department of Justice

When an officer, named “Officer 4” in the affidavit, was dragged into the crowd, Klein said “no way” as police asked him to move so they could rescue the officer, the affidavit says. 

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein attempts to stop police from rescuing an officer pulled into the crowd. Department of Justice

“Let me get my friend,” one of the officers is recorded as saying. 

When Officer 4 made it out of the crowd, Klein is then pictured appearing to help him make his way back to the tunnel, investigators said. 

Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein on police bodycam footage. Department of Justice
Capitol riot federico klein
A man who the FBI identified as Federico Klein then appears to help the officer. Department of Justice

Tipsters got in touch with the FBI after a “wanted” poster was circulated on January 20. From that, one tipster led officials to the Facebook page of “Freddie Klein,” whose picture appeared to be man from the footage, while a witness led them to a LinkedIn profile for the same name. 

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An FBI ‘wanted’ posted with the man prosecutors say they have identified as Federico Klein circled. Department of Justice
Federico klein capitol riot
Feds matched this Facebook picture to an individual seen on footage of rioters at the Capitol. Department of Justice

Klein is one of hundreds of people arrested in connection with the events of January 6 in an aggressive police investigation.

Klein resigned his position on January 19, according to the affidavit.