Monday, June 21, 2021

Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

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Klein worked for a time in the State Department’s Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs before being transferred to the office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a former colleague who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

On Trump’s 2016 campaign, Klein — also known as Freddie — worked as a “tech analyst,” according to Federal Election Commission records. He earned $15,000 there, according to a financial disclosure he filed when he joined the State Department. He was paid an additional $5,000 by the campaign in 2017, the FEC records show.

An individual by the same name also worked briefly on Capitol Hill about two decades ago, for the House Small Business Committee and as an intern for Sen. George Allen (R-Va.).

The alleged presence of a Trump political appointee at the riot may tie those events more closely to the president, although there is already ample evidence that many of those charged were inspired by Trump’s false claims about widespread election fraud and by his call for supporters to descend on Washington on Jan. 6 for events that he promised would be “wild.”

Klein’s mother, Cecilia, said in a telephone interview on Thursday evening that she and her son discussed the Jan. 6 events a few weeks ago and that he confirmed he had been in Washington that day.

“As far as I know, he was on the Mall. That’s what he told me,” Cecilia Klein said.

She said she came away from the conversation with the impression that her son had not entered the Capitol, but she could not recall whether he specifically denied that. “I’m not sure he used those words,” she said.

Cecilia Klein, a retired trade official and economist, said she and her son rarely talk politics or discuss Trump because she and her son have starkly different views.

“Fred’s politics burn a little hot,” she said, “but I’ve never known him to violate the law. … 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.”

Federico Klein served as a Marine in Iraq, his mother said. He held a top-secret clearance from 2014 to 2019, issued by the Defense Department, according to his LinkedIn page.

Before joining the 2016 Trump campaign, Klein worked as a researcher for the conservative Family Research Council and served as a Republican state convention delegate in Virginia, according to his LinkedIn page. He graduated from George Mason University in 2002.

Klein did not respond to voicemail and text messages seeking comment on Thursday.

More than 300 people have now been charged in federal court for events related to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The charges in the cases range from misdemeanor offenses, like entering a restricted area, to obstruction of Congress and assault on a police officer with a dangerous weapon.

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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