The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) arrested Federico Klein, a former State Department official who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, on Thursday evening, alleging that he was involved in the January 6 attack of the U.S. Capitol building.
Klein’s arrest marks the first known occasion of a former Trump political appointee being arrested for the breach of the building that day. On January 6, Klein was still working in the White House, and had a top-secret security clearance.
Klein’s last known role within the State Department was as special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. He also worked as a “tech analyst” within the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. Before serving Trump, Klein also worked as a researcher for the far right Family Research Council.
The former Trump official was arrested in Virginia on Thursday and charged with a number of counts relating to the Capitol breach, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon, according to reporting from Newsweek. Klein, who is also known as Freddie or Fred, is seen in videos filmed during the attack wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, as well as assaulting officers with a stolen riot control shield.
Speaking to Politico, Klein’s mother, Cecilia Klein, said she recalled speaking to her son a few weeks ago about the day’s events, and that he had told her he was at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., that day. She did not receive any information from her son about his whereabouts after leaving that area, she added.
The two Kleins differ greatly in their politics, and tend to avoid discussing such issues altogether. “Fred’s politics burn a little hot,” Cecilia Klein said, “but I’ve never known him to violate the law.”
The attack on the Capitol building came about just after Trump had finished a speech near the White House, in which he had wrongly insisted to his supporters that the presidential election was “stolen” from them “by emboldened radical left Democrats” and “the fake news media.” He also falsely told his supporters that there was “theft involved” in the election.
Trump encouraged his supporters during his January 6 speech to go directly to the Capitol to voice their dissatisfaction in person, adding that they would “never take back our country with weakness.”
Klein’s arrest flies in the face of Trump supporters’ baseless efforts to cast blame for the January 6 attack on leftist instigators disguised as Trump backers, since Klein was clearly aligned with Trump. FBI director Christopher Wray also debunked these false claims earlier this week, stating that there is absolutely no evidence to back up Trump supporters’ wild claims about antifa or any other leftist groups being involved in the breach of the Capitol.
Klein’s arrest underscores yet again that the vast majority of those involved in the breach of the building were ardent Trump loyalists. So far, more than 300 individuals have been criminally charged for their roles in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.