A former State Department official appointed by Trump administration will remain in custody pending a trial over his alleged role in the US Capitol riot, a magistrate judge ruled.
Federico Klein, who held top-secret security clearance and was previously a Trump campaign transition staffer, is the first known political appointee charged in connection to the events of 6 January.
In ordering pretrial detention for Klein, Judge Zia M Faruqui agreed with prosecutors that his position as a federal employee with security clearance worked against him because he took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, according to BuzzFeed News.
“There were enemies, domestic, directly at the heart of America’s democracy and a person who has sworn an oath to protect, then switched sides. It’s extremely concerning,” Judge Farqui said.
In a filing on Tuesday, first reported by CNN, prosecutors wrote that Mr Klein’s behaviour “revealed that his true allegiance lies elsewhere”.
“Despite his oath to support and defend the Constitution, Klein demonstrated his contempt for that oath, the legitimate functions of the government, and for the Constitution itself when he assaulted officers in an attempt to stop the certification of a lawful election,” prosecutors wrote to the court.
“By his actions on January 6, 2021, Klein abdicated his responsibilities to the country and the Constitution.”
Mr Klein, 42, was arrested in Virginia on Thursday, 4 March on charges related to his participation in the riot at the Captiol on 6 January.
The arrest affidavit, first reported by Politico, alleged Mr Klein was seen on video wearing a red MAGA hat jamming a riot shield into doors at the Capitol as police were trying to secure them. He was also allegedly heard encouraging others to clash with police, the complaint said.
“We need fresh people, we need fresh people,” Mr Klein shouted repeatedly, according to the complaint.
He is facing several felony charges, including assaulting police officers, interfering with police during civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as lesser offences.