Former Olympic swimmer pleads guilty to felony in Jan. 6 case
Former Olympic swimmer Klete Keller on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a felony charge connected to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Keller pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding, which was one of the seven charges against him related to the Jan. 6 riots.
The ex-Olympic swimmer was arrested in January after his former teammates and coaches recognized him in video footage taken at the Capitol the day of the attack that was posted on social media by a reporter from Townhall, a conservative outlet.
He was originally charged with three counts connected to the riots in January, but a grand jury the next month returned a new indictment that charged the swimmer with seven crimes related to the attack, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol building.
Keller on Wednesday pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding, according to WUSA 9, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to court documents, Keller was inside the Capitol building for nearly an hour and took photos and videos from the Rotunda.
He then moved to the Ohio Clock Room hallway, where he started recording law enforcement officers who were trying to stop the crowd from moving forward.
Keller, according to his plea agreement, yelled “F— Nancy Pelosi” and “F— Chuck Schumer.”
The plea deal between prosecutors and Keller’s defense team has been expected for weeks, after Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Jawad last month said the two sides were “just finalizing an agreement”.
Keller had been out on bond as his case was pending.
According to court documents, Keller was seen on video footage in the Rotunda wearing a dark-colored USA jacket. A red and white Olympic patch was visible on the left front side of his jacket.
According to his plea agreement, Keller destroyed the phone and memory card that he had with him during the riot, and threw away the “USA” jacket he was wearing.
The Hill reached out to Keller’s attorney, Edward MacMahon, for comment.
Keller has won five medals in three Olympic Games, which includes top finishes at the 2004 games in Athens and the 2008 event in Beijing. He is a former teammate of American swimming star Michael Phelps.
More than 60 people have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to the Justice Department.
Of that number, 75 have pleaded guilty as of Sept. 21, according to Insider.
A pro-Trump mob descended on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as lawmakers were set to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The constitutionally-mandated process was delayed because of the riots, but ultimately moved ahead once all demonstrators exited the Capitol building.
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