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U.S. Olympic swimmer Klete Keller pleads guilty in U.S. Capitol riot case By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Olympic swimmer Klete Keller appears in this courtroom sketch during a virtual hearing before Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in a District of Columbia court January 22, 2021 on charges related to the January 6th storming of the U.S. C

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Klete Keller, a former Olympic swimmer who won two gold medals for the United States, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to his participation in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

After Keller pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding after six criminal charges were dropped against him by prosecutors in February.

At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon of the District of Columbia agreed to Keller’s guilty plea. Leon will sentence Keller at a second hearing yet to be set.

Leon will not be bound to that sentence range, although the charge calls for a minimum of 21-27 months imprisonment.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Keller defeated Australian legend Ian Thorpe in the anchor leg for the 4x200m freestyle relay. This was the moment that the United States won the gold medal.

There were more than 600 individuals charged in connection with the violence on Jan. 6. It followed a Republican Trump’s false claim that his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden was due to widespread fraud. These claims were rejected by numerous courts, state election officials, and Trump’s own government.

Keller was a Colorado citizen who wore a Team USA jacket to the Capitol when he entered it on January 6.

According to prosecutors, Keller was in the Capitol for nearly an hour, at one point yelling “F*** Nancy Pelosi!” and “F*** Chuck Schumer!” before others began pushing forward toward law enforcement officers.

Pelosi, Schumer and Schumer represent the Democratic Party’s congressional leadership.

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