Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

A Trump political appointee who was allegedly employed by the State Department at the time of the riot has been arrested in connection with the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Federico Klein is accused of assaulting law enforcement and committing other crimes during the deadly siege. 

Klein, 42, worked in the Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs at the time of the riot and held a top-secret security clearance, according to an affidavit obtained by CBS News. He was seen in body cam and other video footage physically clashing with police, the court document said. 

Klein “violently shoved a riot shield that apparently had been taken from an officer, towards the officers trying to stop the mob from gaining access to the building. In doing so, Klein pushed the riot shield in between the doors to the Capitol, preventing officers from closing the doors,” the affidavit said. 

Another video showed Klein “violently [shoving] the shield into an officer’s body in an attempt to breach the police line,” according to the court document.  

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A man identified by prosecutors as Klein is seen holding a shield.  FBI

He also allegedly refused an officer’s request to move out of the way when the officer was trying to help a colleague who had been dragged into the crowd. 

Klein appeared in court via teleconference on Friday, telling a federal magistrate judge that he had trouble sleeping in his jail cell because cockroaches crawled over him at night. He also said he is in the process of retaining his own counsel. 

He is charged with entering a restricted area; violent entry and disorderly conduct; obstruction of justice; assaulting, resisting or impeding officers; and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. A detention hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., and the government is seeking to keep Klein detained ahead of trial. 

State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed Friday that Klein had been employed by the department from 2017 until January as a Schedule-C presidential appointee. 

“He worked as a staff assistant with the transition team and as a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs,” Price said. 

The FBI affidavit said Klein resigned from the State Department on January 19, President Trump’s last full day in office. 

Federal prosecutors have charged more than 300 people in connection with the riot, in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting to certify President Biden’s electoral victory. 

Clare Hymes and Camilla Schick contributed reporting. 

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