A former staffer in Trump’s State Department allegedly caught on video assaulting police officers with a riot shield at the Capitol insurrection has been arrested by the FBI on multiple felony charges.
Federico “Freddie” Klein, 42, was allegedly captured on surveillance video, an open-source YouTube video, and body cameras of Metropolitan Police Department officers at the January 6 insurrection in D.C. “inciting the mob and trying to break through the police line” during the riot, and he “violently shoved a riot shield that had been taken from an officer, towards the officers” trying to stop the mob, according to a sworn affidavit first obtained by the New York Times. (Politico first reported Klein’s arrest.)
Klein, shown wearing a red Make America Great Again hat, was pepper-sprayed by police during the attack, and was allegedly shown attempting to coordinate fellow rioters. The charges Klein was arrested on include assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon and obstructing Congress and law enforcement.
Klein began working on Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign in August 2016, and made more than $15,000 as a tech analyst. Two days after Trump was inaugurated, Klein began working at the State Department as a staff assistant, according to a financial disclosure form. Klein was listed as a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in a federal directory published last summer, according to Politico.
Klein was arrested after the FBI included Klein’s photo on a “seeking information” list, and several tipsters reached out with information, with one providing Klein’s Facebook profile. Klein’s public Facebook pictures include multiple photos of Trump, an image calling for a boycott of the National Football League, and one where Klein and another man are pictured with a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton.
Klein also has roots in establishment Republican politics. Klein worked for three months as a researcher at the Family Research Council, an instrumental Christian fundamentalist think tank and mouthpiece of the religious right, according to his Linkedin page. Klein also listed campaign experience volunteering for John McCain’s 2008 and Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaigns, Ken Cuccinelli’s 2013 run for governor of Virginia, and former U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan’s 2015 run for Congress.
Klein was also a legislative aide for three years in Loudoun County, Virginia, working for former Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio. Delgaudio, an anti-LGBQ activist, founded the conservative nonprofit Public Advocate of the United States, which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Klein was involved in a minor local scandal in 2014, as he was alleged to have been doing work for Public Advocate while on Loudoun County’s payroll, but Delgaudio was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing. He lost re-election in 2016. (Delgaudio did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment on the arrest of his former staffer.)
Klein’s LinkedIn also said he held a top secret clearance with the Department of Defense for five years, which expired in 2019. His mother told Politico he had served in Iraq as a Marine.
“Fred’s politics burn a little hot, but I’ve never known him to violate the law,” Cecilia Klein, his mother, 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.”
More than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, during which five people died. Trump left office in January, but was impeached for a second time by the House before doing so. The Senate acquitted him last month, though a clear majority of Senators—all 50 Democrats and seven Republicans—voted to convict.