Klete Keller, the 5-time Olympic swimming medalist from USC, agreed to a plea bargain Wednesday after going through seven federal fees for participating in the U.S. Capitol come up.
For the period of a hearing in U.S. District Court docket in Washington, Keller pleaded guilty to a criminal count of obstruction of an reliable proceeding and can cooperate with prosecutors.
Keller, 39, stood out amid the chaos in the Capitol rotunda on Jan. 6, thanks to his 6-foot-6 height, beard and distinctive U.S. Olympic group jacket with “USA” written in immense letters on the support.
In an announcement of offense signed earlier this month, Keller admitted to “seeking to obstruct, affect, and obstruct” Congress certifying the electoral college votes and, in a while, discarding the Team USA jacket.
“I destroyed the mobile phone and memory card that contained the photographs and movies I recorded from within the Capitol building, and I threw away my crimson, white, and blue ‘USA’ jacket,” Keller wrote.
Despite the truth that the criminal carries a most sentence of 20 years in penitentiary, federal sentencing pointers for an offense charged at this level name for 21 to 27 months in penitentiary. No date for sentencing has been plot, nevertheless Judge Richard J. Leon scheduled a standing conference for Dec. 16.
The non-incarceration consequences of pleading guilty to a criminal consist of shedding the rights to vote and revel in firearms.
Edward B. MacMahon Jr., Keller’s legal skilled, didn’t reply to a query for statement. A spokesman for the U.S. legal skilled’s workplace in Washington declined statement.
For the period of the assault on the Capitol, Townhall Media senior author Julio Rosas had captured Keller on a video posted to Twitter. The main public hyperlink between Keller and the come up got here in a narrative published Jan. 11 by SwimSwam, a popular outlet for swimming coverage. FBI agents surveilled Keller’s home in Colorado Springs the same day, primarily based on a search warrant affidavit unsealed primarily based on a query by The Times, and he used to be charged Jan. 13. The video completed a key segment.
“At roughly fourteen minutes and thirty-eight seconds, [Keller] is unruffled in the Rotunda, and the support of his jacket is yet again visible,” the complaint by FBI Particular Agent Matthew R. Barofsky stated. “[Keller] stands taller than rather so much of alternative folks round him and would possibly per chance per chance per chance well clearly be considered as law enforcement officers over and over are attempting to take him and others from the Rotunda.”
Keller acknowledged being within the Capitol for about 50 minutes on Jan. 6, alongside side shouting profanity and “shaking law enforcement officers off me” in the rotunda.
A day after being charged, Keller became himself in to authorities in Denver. FBI agents searched his home that afternoon. They seized a sunless drawstring secure, primarily based on the search warrant return, nevertheless nothing else.
“Brokers had been suggested by now now not now now not as much as one person that KELLER also can fair enjoy left his cell mobile phone and jacket in D.C., nevertheless your affiant has now now not been in a plot to verify that,” FBI Particular Agent Brandon Kimble wrote in the search warrant affidavit.
Keller deleted his social media accounts, which pals stated had featured a rising amount of messages at some level of the outdated yr supporting then-President Trump, and resigned from the Colorado Springs industrial proper estate firm Hoff & Leigh, the save he worked as an self sustaining contractor.
In an announcement on the time, USA swimming stated Keller’s “actions beneath no circumstances signify the values or mission” of the sport’s governing physique in the U.S. and eminent he hadn’t competed since 2008.
A federal huge jury indicted Keller on seven counts in February, alongside side disorderly conduct in a restricted building, civil dysfunction and obstruction of an reliable proceeding. Higher than 600 other folks had been charged in reference to the come up.
Keller, who has been free on a non-public recognizance bond, hasn’t made any public statements since the come up beyond transient greetings or responses at some level of court docket appearances performed through video conferencing.
“He tells all people that he’s very sorry and he needs to expose it round,” Jon Urbanchek, who coached Keller for several years and remains terminate to him, suggested The Times earlier this yr.
Keller’s biography used to be scrubbed from Hoff & Leigh’s web region, nevertheless Colorado proper estate recordsdata command he resumed working for the firm in May well per chance.
Keller acquired two medals on the Sydney Olympics in 2000 at age 18, then captured three person NCAA titles for USC in 2001 and 2002. He delivered a signature 2nd on the Athens Olympics in 2004, retaining off Australian celebrity Ian Thorpe in the anchor leg of the 800-meter freestyle relay to clutch gold alongside with teammates Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay. Keller added one other gold in the same tournament on the Beijing Olympics four years later.
Despite the truth that Keller graduated from USC in 2009 with a level in public coverage and proper estate pattern, life after swimming wasn’t easy. He struggled to relief jobs, and skilled a contentious divorce that used to be finalized in 2015 at the side of a puny bit one custody fight that’s ongoing. At one level before shifting to Colorado in leisurely 2017 wanting for a novel delivery, he stated, he lived in his automobile for several months.
“I came upon the correct world stress a ways more intimidating and so much of more and so much of more disturbing to tackle because I went from swimming to having three formative years and a accomplice within a yr,” Keller stated in a 2018 interview with the Olympic Channel podcast. “I felt after I failed one a ways more acute sense of exertion and frustration and failure than I did with swimming. … All those years of success I had with swimming in actuality gave me inaccurate expectations of the realm, so it used to be great more durable to tackle the puny mini-failures I would trip on any given day.”