Olympic Medalist, Swimmer Klete Keller Pleads Guilty To U.S. Capital Riot Charge

Olympic medalist and University of Southern California swimmer Klete Keller pleaded guilty to the charges against him relating to the United States Capitol riot on Jan. 6. He agreed to a plea bargain earlier this week after facing seven federal charges for his participation in the riot.

The Charges

Keller pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding after prosecutors agreed to drop six other criminal charges against him. U.S. district judge Richard Leon in the District of Columbia accepted the guilty plea at a court hearing. Leon will later sentence Keller through another hearing that has not been scheduled yet, The Guardian reported.

The charge carries with it a recommended sentence of 21 to 27 months behind bars. Although such is recommended, Leon is not bound by it. The sentence also carries with it losing the right to vote and own firearms.

Keller is one of the more than 600 people charged with taking part in the Jan. 6 violence that followed a speech by former U.S. President Donald Trump at a nearby rally where he made his repeated claims regarding election fraud leading to President Joe Biden’s win.

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Credit: theguardian.com

What Happened

Keller wore his Team USA jacket when he entered the Capitol during the riot. He was reportedly in the Capitol for nearly an hour, and at one point, he yelled, “F**k Nancy Pelosi!” and “F**k Chuck Schumer!” Pelosi and Schumer are the Democratic Party’s Congressional leaders.

In a statement, Keller admitted that he tried to obstruct, influence, and impede Congress certifying the electoral college votes and later discarded his Team USA jacket. He also wrote, “I destroyed the phone and memory card that contained the photographs and videos I recorded from inside the Capitol building.” He also deleted all his social media accounts and resigned from the Colorado Springs commercial real estate firm Hoff & Leigh, where he worked as an independent contractor.

Keller never made a public statement regarding the incident. His former coach, Jon Urbanchek, said, “He tells everybody that he’s sorry and he wants to turn it around.” Keller remains free under a personal recognizance bond.

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