Former Trump State Department Official Found Guilty of Assaulting Police during Capitol Riot

by Madison Thomas
Capitol riot conviction

On Thursday, a former political appointee from the State Department during the administration of former President Donald Trump was convicted of charges related to his attack on police officers during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

In a trial presided over by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, the former official, Federico Guillermo Klein, and his co-defendant, Steven Cappuccio, were found guilty of assault charges and other felony offenses arising from the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, orchestrated by a mob of Trump supporters.

Klein and Cappuccio were among a group of nine co-defendants charged with crimes linked to a particularly aggressive and crucial moment of the January 6 events: the intense hand-to-hand combat between rioters and police officers in a tunnel leading to a Capitol entrance on the Lower West Terrace.

Prosecutors stated that Klein and Cappuccio joined the mob in the tunnel, where outnumbered police officers struggled for hours to hold them back. Judge McFadden convicted Klein on 12 counts, including six charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers. Klein’s sentencing is set for November 3.

Cappuccio’s sentencing is scheduled for October 19. While McFadden convicted him of assault charges, he acquitted him of two counts, including a felony charge for obstructing the joint session of Congress on January 6, during which President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory was certified. However, McFadden found Klein guilty of the same obstruction charge.

The judge expressed his shock at the level of violence and hostility exhibited against the police in the tunnel. He emphasized that no police officer should have endured such attacks without provocation.

Pending their sentencing, McFadden allowed Klein to remain under house arrest, but Cappuccio was immediately taken into custody after the verdict. In the courtroom, Klein shook Cappuccio’s hand before being handcuffed by a deputy marshal.

Klein, an Iraq War veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, held a Top Secret security clearance and had been working in the State Department’s office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs since 2017. He resigned from his position on January 19, 2021, a day prior to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Prosecutors alleged that Klein, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, was part of the initial wave of rioters who entered the tunnel. They claimed that he forcefully pushed against officers, proclaiming, “You can’t stop this!” and repeatedly rammed his shoulder into an officer who attempted to push him back with a baton.

Furthermore, Klein wedged a stolen police riot shield between two doors, preventing their closure and allowing the continued assault on the police by him and other rioters for over two hours, according to prosecutors.

Video evidence captured Klein inciting fellow rioters to attack the police, repeatedly shouting, “We need fresh people!” As for Cappuccio, prosecutors said that he yelled, “Storming the castle, boys!” and chanted phrases like “Fight for Trump!” and “Our house!” upon reaching the Lower West Terrace. In the tunnel, he joined other rioters in pushing against the police line while recording the violent clashes with his phone.

Prosecutors further stated that Cappuccio, while another rioter pinned Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges against a door, forcibly removed the officer’s gas mask and dislodged his helmet. Cappuccio then grabbed Officer Hodges’ riot baton and struck him in the face, causing the officer to scream for help.

Cappuccio, also a military veteran, traveled from Texas to Washington, D.C., to attend Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6. He was arrested at his home in Universal City, Texas, in August 2021.

Klein, a native of the Washington region who also worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, was apprehended in March 2021.

Klein’s defense attorney argued for a separate trial, asserting that his co-defendants engaged in more threatening and intentional conduct than Klein himself. The attorney contended that Klein did not cause any injuries and that the government acknowledged his “assault” charge was based on his possession of a riot shield that incidentally came into contact with a law enforcement officer, as stated in a court filing from March 2022.

Another co-defendant, Christopher Quaglin of North Brunswick, New Jersey, was originally set to be tried alongside Klein and Cappuccio. However, earlier this month, Judge McFadden found Quaglin guilty of 14 riot-related crimes in a “stipulated bench trial.” This type of trial involves the judge deciding the case without a jury based on agreed-upon facts from both sides. Quaglin is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26.

More than 100 police officers were injured during the Capitol riot, and over 1,000 individuals have faced federal charges in relation to the attack on January 6. Of those charged, approximately 100 have been convicted by juries or judges. Only two individuals have been acquitted of all charges following trials, while over 600 others have pleaded guilty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Capitol riot conviction

Q: Who was convicted for assaulting police during the Capitol riot?

A: A former Trump State Department official, Federico Guillermo Klein, along with his co-defendant, Steven Cappuccio, were convicted of assault charges and other felony offenses stemming from their involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Q: What were the charges against Klein and Cappuccio?

A: Klein and Cappuccio faced assault charges and other felony offenses related to their actions during the Capitol riot, including attacking police officers. Klein was convicted on 12 counts, while Cappuccio was found guilty of assault charges but acquitted of certain counts.

Q: What was the role of Klein and Cappuccio in the Capitol riot?

A: Klein and Cappuccio were among the rioters who entered a tunnel leading to a Capitol entrance on the Lower West Terrace. They engaged in hand-to-hand combat with police officers, pushing against the police line and participating in violent clashes.

Q: Were there any injuries sustained by police officers during the riot?

A: Yes, over 100 police officers were injured during the Capitol riot, which involved intense violence and hostility against law enforcement. The assault on officers in the tunnel, where Klein and Cappuccio were present, was described as particularly brutal.

Q: What is the status of sentencing for Klein and Cappuccio?

A: Klein is scheduled to be sentenced on November 3, while Cappuccio’s sentencing is set for October 19. Klein was allowed to remain free under house arrest until his sentencing, whereas Cappuccio was taken into custody immediately after the verdict.

Q: How many people have been charged and convicted in relation to the January 6 attack?

A: Over 1,000 individuals have faced federal charges for their involvement in the Capitol riot. Among them, approximately 100 have been convicted by juries or judges, while over 600 others have pleaded guilty to the charges.

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Coffeelover22 July 21, 2023 - 3:53 am

seriously, so many people charged in this capitol riot, it’s insane. can’t believe there are still over 600 facing charges!

SportsFanatic July 21, 2023 - 4:45 am

whoa, over 100 cops injured in this riot? that’s a lot of casualties. glad they caught these guys.

User123 July 21, 2023 - 6:27 am

omg this is crazy! trump guy convicted for attacking police in capitol riot?!?! totally wild!

Bookworm99 July 21, 2023 - 2:51 pm

wow, can’t believe someone from the State Department got caught up in all this mess. serves them right for assaulting the police!

TechGeek101 July 21, 2023 - 5:03 pm

it’s scary how social media played a role in all this. those videos and photos were all over the internet. people need to think before they act.


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