Olympic Gold Medalist Pleads Guilty In Capitol Riot Case

A two-time U.S. Olympic Gold medalist has pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from participating in the deadly riot at the United States Capitol on January 6.

Former U.S. swim team member Klete Keller, 39, made a brief appearance in federal court in Washington on Thursday (September 29) and pleaded guilty to a single charge of obstructing an official proceeding, a felony that includes a sentencing of 21 to 27 months, NBC News reports.

The govenrment dropped an additional felony charge and five misdemeanor counts against Keller in return of the guilty plea.

The former Olympian’s attorney, Edward MacMahon told the judge his client was “trying to make amends for his terrible mistake,” noting that the swimmer is embarrassed and “wants to start his life over.”

Prosecutors asked the judge to defer sentencing as Keller agreed to cooperate with their investigation into the January 6 insurrection and may be called to testify during upcoming court proceedings in relation to the incident.

In January, a maskless Keller was identified in video footage of the Capitol riot wearing a Team USA jacket, ESPN reported.

Keller represented the United States during the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, anchoring the 4×200 freestyle, which notably included holding off a strong late push by Australia’s Ian Thorpe to help the U.S. win the gold in 2004.

Protesters supporting President Trump stormed the United States Capitol amid the vote to certify then-President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory in the 2020 presidential election, which led to the death of five individuals and forced elected officials to evacuate the House and Senate chambers before later continuing session in the evening.

An announcement was made inside the Capitol ordering lawmakers to evacuate due to “an external security threat” as dozens of protesters forced their way inside the building, the Associated Press reports.

Both chambers were sent into recess and later resumed at around 8:00 p.m. EST to confirm the nomination of Biden and then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

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