Former State Department aide charged in assault on Capitol

  • Former State Department aide charged in assault on Capitol

Former State Department aide charged in assault on Capitol

A former State Department aide in President Donald Trump's administration has been charged with participating in the deadly siege at the Capitol and assaulting officers who were trying to guard the building, court papers show.

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The FBI, citing surveillance and police body cam footage, said Klein "pushed his way to the front-left side of the crowd and to the doorway to the Capitol building, where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line, thereby affecting their ability to disperse the crowd".

Klein was seen on camera violently shoving a riot shield into an officer and inciting the crowd as it tried to storm past the police line, shouting, "We need fresh people, we need fresh people", according to the charging documents. "Notes that obstruction of Congress charge carries a 20-year max, assaulting police [with] unsafe weapon also 20-year max", Politico's Josh Gerstein reported Friday.

Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free. He also reportedly defied police orders to retreat and beat an officer with a riot shield, which he used to prop open a door leading into the Capitol building.

An FBI statement posted by The New York Times said Klein still worked at the State Department on the day of the Capitol attack and possessed top-secret clearance as part of his work.

The FBI said Klein was recorded on video saying "we need fresh people, we need fresh people".

One of Klein's State Department coworkers helped authorities identify him, officials said.

Klein became a staff assistant in the State Department shortly after Trump's inauguration in 2017, according to a financial disclosure report.

According to a former colleague, Klein also worked in the Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs -- which manages relationships with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay -- and was later transferred to an office that processes Freedom of Information Act requests.

According to court papers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a photo of Klein in January on a poster asking the public for information to help identify him.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Klein's mother told the Washington Post that her son alleged he'd been at a mall during the time of the insurrection. He resigned from his position on January 19, the day before Joe Biden was sworn in as president, authorities said.

"Fred's politics burn a little hot", she told Politico, "but I've never known him to violate the law". The exact charges against Klein have not yet been made public.