Former Trump Administration Official Receives Prison Sentence for Role in Capitol Riot

by Ethan Kim
Capitol riot sentencing

A former State Department official who once served under President Donald Trump and is a veteran of the Marine Corps, was handed a sentence of almost six years on Friday for his conduct during the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. During the disturbance, he assaulted law enforcement personnel.

Federico Klein, a staunch Trump supporter, was actively involved in one of January 6th’s most tumultuous conflicts, where rioters clashed with the outnumbered Capitol police at the tunnel entrance of the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. As stated by the prosecution, Klein not only attacked officers but also exhorted others to escalate the violence and attempted to prevent the police from securing the entrance.

Prosecutors argued that Klein played a key role in the chaos, trying to breach the Capitol and disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral success. He chose not to speak during his trial and likewise refrained from making a statement prior to receiving his sentence from U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, which totaled five years and 10 months of incarceration.

Judge McFadden denounced Klein’s January 6 actions as “startling and severe” during the sentencing.

In addition to the prison term, McFadden imposed a $3,000 fine and mandated $2,000 in restitution. The date Klein must surrender to begin his sentence remains undecided.

Klein was employed in the State Department’s Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs office from 2017 and tendered his resignation on January 19, 2021, just one day before President Biden was sworn in.

His involvement in the riot, as suggested by prosecutors, seemed driven by his wish to retain his presidential appointment.

Prosecutors noted that Klein breached the public’s trust, which comes with his federal government role, particularly as it pertains to upholding the law, by engaging in the assault on the nation he was supposed to serve.

Stanley Woodward, Klein’s defense lawyer, argued that the prosecution overstated Klein’s participation in the riot due to his connection to the Trump administration.

Woodward advocated for a sentence reflecting Klein’s individual actions during the riot, rather than attributing to him the collective misconduct of others present during the incident.

While the prosecution initially sought a decade-long sentence for Klein, who is an Alexandria, Virginia, resident and was 42 at the time of the riot, he was apprehended in March 2021.

In July of 2023, Judge McFadden, who opted for a bench trial, found Klein and his co-defendant Steven Cappuccio guilty of assault and other charges related to the riot.

The two were among the defendants indicted on 53 counts, with Klein being convicted on 12 charges, six of which involved assault.

Cappuccio, whose sentencing is set to follow Klein’s, was ordered into custody immediately after the trial, contrasting with Klein, who was placed under house arrest. The prosecution has requested a prison term of 10 years and one month for Cappuccio, who was detained in August 2021 in Texas.

Both men had attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and were part of the initial group to storm the tunnel at the Capitol, as per the prosecution. Klein was observed employing a stolen police shield to jam doors and was recorded inciting the crowd against the police.

On the day of the sentencing, McFadden pointed out that Klein’s behavior exacerbated the anarchy within the tunnel.

Cappuccio was heard shouting phrases like “Storming the castle, boys!” during the riot and was seen assaulting a police officer alongside other rioters.

Klein’s military service spanned approximately nine years, including a deployment to Iraq. He joined the State Department as a desk officer for the South American region in January 2017 and was linked to Trump’s campaign. Following the 2020 election, he was involved in contesting the election results without substantiated evidence.

To date, close to 1,200 individuals face charges related to the Capitol riot, with over 800 guilty pleas or convictions and roughly 700 sentenced, ranging from a few days to 22 years in prison.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Capitol riot sentencing

Who is Federico Klein and what was he sentenced for?

Federico Klein is a former State Department official and Marine Corps veteran who was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for his actions during the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, including assaulting police officers and obstructing Congress’s certification of the 2020 election results.

What did Federico Klein do during the Capitol riot?

Klein was convicted of assaulting law enforcement officers and urging rioters to fight against the police as they attempted to gain control of a tunnel entrance at the Capitol. He was also found to have used a stolen police riot shield to prevent officers from closing entrance doors.

How long is Federico Klein’s prison sentence?

Federico Klein was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $3,000 and restitution of $2,000.

What was Federico Klein’s role in the Trump administration?

Klein worked in the State Department’s office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs from 2017 until his resignation on January 19, 2021. He was a politically appointed official during former President Donald Trump’s administration.

Did Federico Klein testify at his trial?

No, Federico Klein did not testify at his trial, and he also declined to address the court before his sentencing.

More about Capitol riot sentencing

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Mike Johnson November 4, 2023 - 3:51 am

wow can’t believe Klein got almost 6 years, that’s a long time but guess it fits the crime right?

Eliza22 November 4, 2023 - 3:21 pm

Its sad to see a marine and a public servant fall so far, what happened to upholding the constitution

RickyB November 4, 2023 - 3:29 pm

they say over 800 have been convicted now, this is crazy man, history books are gonna be wild for 2021…

Sarah K November 4, 2023 - 3:49 pm

kinda ironic how someone from the state department ends up attacking the state, isn’t it supposed to be the other way around

Tommy87 November 4, 2023 - 4:28 pm

read about this, they said he didnt even speak in court? must’ve been confident his lawyer would get him off or something


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