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A Former Olympic Swimmer Who Wore His Team USA Jacket To The Capitol Riot Pleaded Guilty To A Felony

Klete Keller admitted to prosecutors that he took video and photographs of himself after breaching the Capitol building.

Posted on September 29, 2021, at 6:53 p.m. ET

Townhall Media / Via

Klete Keller, a three-time Olympian who stormed the Capitol along with a horde of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of obstructing Congress in a deal with federal prosecutors, according to court documents.

Hundreds of people forced their way into the Capitol during the violent attack on Jan. 6, and many in the crowd freely walked away. But out of the sea of faces seen in photos and video inside the Capitol, Keller was not difficult to identify; he was wearing his Team USA jacket.

In his agreement with prosecutors, Keller admitted on Wednesday to unlawfully entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 with the intent that he and others would "obstruct, influence and impede an official proceeding" — the certification of the results of the presidential election.

Keller was initially facing three federal charges, including civil disorder, knowingly entering a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. In his agreement, he pleaded guilty to one charge of obstructing Congress, which carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Thomas Kienzle / AP

He was identified by prosecutors in part by the Nike jacket, which officials noted bore the white-and-red Olympic patch on its front left side.

According to prosecutors, Keller admitted that he entered the US Capitol around 2:39 p.m. through the west side of the building, went into the Rotunda, and began to take video and pictures.

Keller then made his way to the Ohio Clock corridor, where in the throng of people he yelled out, "Fuck Nancy Pelosi!" and "Fuck Chuck Schumer," according to court records.

At 3:08 p.m., prosecutors said, a law enforcement officer tried to remove him from the Rotunda, and Keller "jerked his elbow" to shake the officer away. He left the building around 3:30 p.m.

The 38-year-old athlete attended and won medals during the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics, where he secured the gold medal for Team USA in the 4x200 freestyle relay's final leg. He returned in 2008 to again medal.

Yet after his athletic peak, the swimmer confirmed that he had been homeless for months in 2018. In an Olympic Channel podcast, Keller talked about losing his job and experiencing marital issues.

Three years later, Keller was identified as one of the Capitol rioters by SwimSwam, a swimming news outlet, five days after the attack.

He was among the first 70 people to be charged for crimes related to the insurrection. More than 600 people have been charged with various offenses since then.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.