An ex-State Department employee appointed by former President Trump was sentenced to nearly six years in prison Friday for his “shocking and egregious” assaults on police officers at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which the federal judge amounted to a betrayal of his oath of office. Federico Klein, 45, was identified as the first member of the Trump administration to be charged in connection with the riot, where a mob of the ex-president’s supporters sought to halt the certification of President Biden’s 2020 electoral victory, reports Courthouse News Service. According to a Justice Department sentencing memo seeking 10 years in prison, the former Marine assaulted multiple officers around the Lower West Terrace and a tunnel leading into the building, where some of the worst violence of the day occurred.
In the tunnel, Klein shoved officers, stole a police riot shield and wedged it between the doors leading into the building, forcing the doors open and depriving the outnumbered officers of the ability to create a barrier between them and the mob. At a bench trial in July, Klein was convicted for six assaults, each against U.S. Capitol Police officers, as well as two additional felonies for civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. Klein was tried with Steven Cappuccio, who attacked officers in the tunnel, pulling the gas mask off an officer’s face and beating them over the head with a police baton. Klein and Cappuccio were among nine co-defendants who were charged in connection to the brutal hand-to-hand combat that lasted hours, including a “heave-ho” effort by the rioters to use their overwhelming numbers to break through the police line. Former Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell made an emotional statement before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden imposed the sentence, recalling how Klein relentlessly attacked police and was one of the rioters whose actions forced him to retire from the force.