Former State Department appointee and Marine Corps veteran Federico Klein has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden. Klein, who previously worked for the State Department and volunteered with former President Donald Trump’s campaign, was involved in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
During the riot, as law enforcement officials used excessive force against protesters, Klein joined other demonstrators in defending themselves. He used a police shield found on the ground to protect himself in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel of the Capitol. Prosecutors claim that Klein wedged the police shield between doors, allowing rioters to continue their assaults on police.
In March 2021, Klein was apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Judge McFadden scolded him during his sentencing, stating that Klein showed no remorse and had betrayed the oath of office he had taken. The judge described Klein’s conduct as shocking and egregious, and he would have sentenced him to a longer prison term had Klein not already been on home detention for two years.
Klein’s co-defendants, Patrick McCaughey and Steven Cappucio, were also found guilty on multiple felony counts. McCaughey was sentenced to 90 months in prison, while Cappucio received a sentence of 85 months.
Prosecutors sought a 10-year prison term for Klein, highlighting his involvement in investigating election fraud following the Capitol riot. They argued that Klein attacked the Capitol to benefit his own continued employment as a political appointee.
During the sentencing hearing, McFadden informed Klein that he could have also been charged under the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch employees from engaging in political activities. Klein is one of a small number of federal employees to be charged for protesting on Jan. 6.
Klein’s defense attorney, Stanley Woodward, argued for a lighter sentence of 40 days in jail and three years of supervised release. Woodward emphasized that his client had not made any public statements about the case and claimed that Klein had changed.
Woodward also urged the government not to conflate Klein’s actions with those of other protesters who used dangerous weapons against police during the riot. He asserted that Klein should be held responsible for his individual actions only.
Since the Jan. 6 riot, over 1,100 defendants have been arrested for protesting the election results, with more than 400 already sentenced to incarceration. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has achieved a 100 percent conviction rate against the defendants through jury trials.
In a recent rally in Houston, Texas, former President Trump referred to those incarcerated for their involvement in the Jan. 6 protest as “hostages.” Trump stood saluting as a song he collaborated on played in the background.