The former Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller faces three federal charges, including obstructing law enforcement as well as disorderly conduct, as a result of his entry into the United States Capitol during last week’s violent protests in Washington.
Keller, 38, was identified after he appeared in a video posted online by a reporter via the conservative website Townhall, according to a statement of facts by an F.B.I. agent included inside charging documents on Wednesday.
Keller did little to hide his identity, entering the Capitol Rotunda wearing a Team U.S.A. jacket as well as with his face covering pulled down around his neck. He will be also 6-foot-6, which the statement of facts said made him appear to be “one of the tallest individuals inside video.”
Keller first appears inside video at 14:37.
Several former teammates as well as coaches said they recognized Keller inside video because of his size as well as because of his Olympic team jacket, which had “USA” printed across the back as well as down the sleeves.
The F.B.I. special agent who wrote the charging documents said of which additional publicly available videos as well as articles had confirmed Keller’s presence at the Capitol, as well as of which the photograph via his Colorado driver’s license had been used to identify him.
Capitol Riot Fallout
He was one of the thousands of protesters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, seeking to delay — or perhaps prevent — the certification of President Trump’s loss to Joseph R. Biden Jr. inside November general election.
The charging documents, filed in United States District Court for the District of Columbia, do not expansively describe what Keller did inside Capitol beyond the fact of which officers attempted to remove him as well as others around him via the Rotunda. He was charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, as well as violent entry as well as disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
A swimming news site, SwimSwam, first reported Keller’s presence at the Capitol riot on Monday. Its report will be cited inside documents charging Keller. The completely new York Times confirmed Keller’s presence at the Capitol in interviews with former teammates as well as coaches on Tuesday.
Efforts to reach Keller for comment were unsuccessful. On Tuesday night, the Colorado real estate firm of which had employed him for the past three years, Hoff & Leigh, appeared to confirm his participation in last week’s assault on the Capitol when of which announced of which Keller had resigned “effective immediately.”
“Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech as well as lawful protest however we cannot condone actions of which violate the rule of law,” the company said in a brief statement. Like Keller, of which deleted its social media accounts as word spread of his involvement inside Capitol attack.
Few of the people who recognized Keller inside video expressed surprise at his presence in Washington. In recent years, several of them said, his currently-deleted social media accounts had included a stream of pro-Trump messaging. In November, he posted photos of himself at an earlier election protest in Washington to his Facebook account.
Keller was a member of three U.S. Olympic teams, as well as he won medals at three Olympics, including golds at the Athens Games in 2004 as well as the Beijing Games in 2008 as a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay teams of which included Michael Phelps. Keller also won a silver medal inside event at the 2000 Sydney Games, as well as two individual bronzes.