IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Former State Department aide arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Federico Klein was arrested in Virginia on Thursday. Government files show he was a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs as a political appointee.
Image: Capitol riot
Rioters attempt to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Eric Lee / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

A former State Department aide during the Trump administration has been arrested in connection with the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to an FBI spokesperson and documents.

Federico Klein was arrested Thursday in Virginia, an FBI spokesperson said. The FBI would not discuss the case, and court documents did not appear to be online.

But documents obtained by NBC News allege that a man later identified as Klein was seen on video assaulting Washington, D.C., police officers and U.S. Capitol Police officers.

The FBI says in court documents that Klein can be seen resisting officers, attempting to take items from them, and assaulting them with a riot shield. The documents allege he “violently shoved the shield into an officer’s body in an attempt to breach the police line."

It appears to be the first criminal case connected to a member of the Trump administration stemming from the Jan. 6 riot.

It was not immediately clear if Klein had an attorney who could speak on his behalf Thursday night, or if he was in custody.

Politico first reported the arrest.

The court documents say Klein was working at the State Department on Jan. 6, possessed top-secret security clearance and resigned Jan. 19.

Government records show Klein worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and was hired at the State Department in January 2017.

Government files show that at least into 2020, Klein was serving as a political appointee at the State Department as a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The court documents say that Klein faces six counts, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and obstruction of Congress; and those that deal with assaulting or impeding police.

Klein was identified after the FBI got two tips from the public after the law enforcement agency had posted photos in the wake of the Capitol riot, according to the documents.

Cecilia L. Klein said that her 42-year-old son told her that he was at the Mall on Jan. 6 but that he did not go onto the Capitol grounds.

"I asked him — he said 'I was on the Mall.' I said, 'did you go on the Capitol grounds?' He said 'no I did not, I was on the Mall,'" Cecilia Klein said by phone Thursday night.

She said she not know about the allegations or that her son had been arrested until she was contacted by Politico.

She said that her politics are very different from her son's and that he was not a top official in the Trump administration.

"We are not talking about a Cabinet official or a sub-Cabinet official," she said. "My son was a schedule C," she said, referring to a classification in government.

A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress prepared to formally count the electoral votes affirming President Joe Biden's win. President Donald Trump had falsely claimed that there was fraud and that the election was "stolen" at a rally before the Capitol was attacked. Five people died.

Trump was later impeached for a second time and accused of inciting insurrection. He was acquitted by the Senate last month.

Justice Department officials have said they have filed charges against more than 300 people in the riot at the Capitol, some of which are under seal because the defendants have not yet been arrested. Federal prosecutors allege a wide range of motives and behavior, from extreme violence to apparent ignorance that what they were doing was illegal.

Some have been accused of assaulting police officers and threatening to attack lawmakers, while others are charged with the lesser offense of illegally entering a protected building.

A George Washington University study this week found that more than half of those charged were not connected to extremist groups or to one another.