A MAGA-hatted Donald Trump appointee was on the front lines of the Jan. 6 riots, the FBI alleged in a criminal complaint that first went public on Thursday. Federico “Freddie” Klein, described as a “Schedule-C political appointee who began working at [the State Department] in 2017 in the office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs,” was busted by a tipster and a couple of witnesses, one of them a former colleague in the 45th president’s administration.
“Witness 2 worked with KLEIN in-person multiple times per week throughout the time they worked together. Witness 2 reported that they had no animosity towards KLEIN,” court documents said. “Witness 2 last saw KLEIN on January 19, 2021; Witness 2 recalled the specific date because it was prior to President Biden’s inauguration and KLEIN’s resignation from DOS.”
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.”
It’s alleged that Klein “violently shoved a riot shield that apparently had been taken from an officer, towards the officers trying to stop the mob from gaining access to the building. In doing so, KLEIN pushed the riot shield in between the doors to the Capitol, preventing officers from closing the doors.”
The FBI said Klein was recorded on video saying “we need fresh people, we need fresh people.”
After allegedly assaulting police, the suspect eventually emerged from the tunnel next to a Thin Blue Line flag. He swapped out his MAGA hat for a red U.S. Marine Corps hat.
Klein’s mother Cecilia Klein told Politico that her son served as a Marine in Iraq.
“Fred’s politics burn a little hot, but I’ve never known him to violate the law,” she told Politico. “While I believe, as he said, he was on the Mall that day, I don’t have any evidence, nor will I ever ask him, unless he tells me, where he was after he was on the Mall.”
Klein faces charges for unlawful entry with intent to disrupt government business and for engaging in physical violence; disorderly conduct with intent disrupt Congress; obstruction of an official proceeding; obstructing or interfering with law enforcement in the course of their official duties and during civil disorder; assaulting police while using a deadly or dangerous weapon.
The latter charge appears to stem from Klein’s alleged use of a riot shield to assault police.
In the above-mentioned video footage, your affiant observed KLEIN resisting officers, attempting to take items from officers, and assaulting officers with a riot shield.
Update, 3:08 p.m.: Klein complained about cockroaches in his D.C. cell during an initial court appearance on Friday. He said he hasn’t been able to sleep as a result.
Defense lawyer says Klein will likely be moved somewhere else today. (probably to DC Jail.) Judge says if bad conditions persist he will look into it. Klein complains again he hasn't slept due to the roaches. Hearing over now. Bail hearing Tuesday at 230PM.
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) March 5, 2021
Read the documents below:
[Image via FBI]
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