Olympic gold medal swimmer pleads guilty after attending Capitol riots

Keller surrendered himself to law enforcement after learning that they were seeking his arrest.


Recorded on video entering the Capitol building during the riots on January 6, former Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony count of obstructing an official proceeding.

Around 2:39 p.m. on January 6, Keller entered the U.S. Capitol building while wearing a red, white, and blue jacket with “USA” printed on the back and an Olympic team patch on the front. According to his signed statement, Keller admitted, “At the time, I acted to affect the government by stopping or delaying the Congressional proceeding, and, in fact, did so. I accomplished this by intimidating or coercing government personnel who were participating in or supporting the Congressional proceeding.”

Keller recalled standing with other Trump supporters inside the Capitol building while confronting police officers and chanting “Fuck Nancy Pelosi!” and “Fuck Chuck Schumer!”

At 3:08 p.m., Keller jerked his elbow to shake off police officers attempting to remove him and others from the Rotunda. He finally exited the building after officers deployed tear gas in the area.

Between January 6 and January 7, Keller destroyed his phone and the memory card that contained the photographs and videos that he recorded inside the Capitol building. He also threw away his “USA” jacket.

Later in January, Keller surrendered himself to law enforcement after learning that they were seeking his arrest. On February 10, he was indicted on seven counts, including disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building, and impeding law enforcement.

On Wednesday, Keller pleaded guilty to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. According to federal guidelines, he likely faces between 21 and 27 months in federal prison.

Winning gold medals at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, Keller was a former teammate of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including at least 185 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.


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