A two-time Olympic gold medalist has pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Klete Keller, 39, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Keller was a celebrated athlete who has won five Olympic medals and was a onetime teammate of swimming legend Michael Phelps. But just days after the Capitol attack that left five dead and more than 140 officers injured, Keller faced charges after authorities identified him as a rioter.
Trump supporters fought back after Capitol Police moved in to retake the Rotunda. pic.twitter.com/4e7mNyqWZy
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 6, 2021
Social media posts helped identify the 6-foot-6-inch athlete, who was seen wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket with the letters “USA” on the back, and who was “unlawfully inside the U.S. Capitol for nearly an hour,” according to the DOJ’s statement.
“Keller yelled ‘F*** Nancy Pelosi!” and ‘F*** Chuck Schumer!’ before others began pushing forward toward the law enforcement officers,’” the DOJ statement adds.
After leaving the Capitol, Keller threw away his “USA” jacket and destroyed his cell phone and memory card that had photos and videos of his time in the Rotunda, according to court records.
The swimmer was recognized in social media posts by former teammates and coaches, who then contacted authorities, according to The New York Times.
More than 600 people have been charged for their alleged roles in the day’s attack. A sentencing date for Keller has not yet been set, but his felony charge carries a sentencing of up to 27 months in prison.