WASHINGTON — Soon after President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the White House advised State Department officers that they wanted to discover a job for a political appointee.
Federico G. Klein had been a low-level aide on Mr. Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign and a stalwart supporter of the president, outspoken on his non secular and conservative views. When a senior State Department official tried to object, believing Mr. Klein to be out of his depth in the world of diplomacy, he was overruled, based on a former division official. Mr. Klein was stashed in obscure positions with little affect.
Four years later, Mr. Klein, 42, lastly made his mark in Washington — as a pacesetter of the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, based on a court docket doc filed by the F.B.I., which arrested Mr. Klein on Thursday. He is the primary identified participant in the Capitol breach to have labored for Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign or held a political appointment in his administration.
Interviews with a number of individuals who know or labored with Mr. Klein counsel a person with more and more fiery social and political beliefs, however a forgettable skilled file in authorities and the navy. He had provided few public hints that he could be succesful of violent political motion.
Mr. Klein is seen in video footage from the Capitol sporting a collared shirt and a crew neck sweater below a colorless inexperienced coat, with a crimson “Make America Great Again” hat. According to the F.B.I. grievance, he used a stolen Capitol Police riot defend to assault officers and wedge open a door they had been making an attempt to close towards the urgent crowd.
“We need fresh people, need fresh people,” Mr. Klein referred to as again to his compatriots from the entrance of the road charging the police defenses, based on the F.B.I. grievance.
He was arrested after the F.B.I. acquired a tip from two individuals who acknowledged his square-jawed, sandy-haired picture from a poster in search of details about Capitol rioters captured on digicam.
On paper, he hardly appeared a revolutionary.
Mr. Klein, who goes by Freddie, grew up in an prosperous suburb of Washington, D.C., attended George Mason University, joined the Marine Corps as a reservist and volunteered for mainstream Republicans, together with Mitt Romney in his 2012 presidential marketing campaign, earlier than signing on with Mr. Trump.
He left little mark in the office. Several State Department officers and Trump political fingers stated that they’d no reminiscence of Mr. Klein, and that his position on the 2016 marketing campaign — for which he reported simply $15,000 in earnings in a monetary disclosure type — would have been marginal.
He served in the Marine Corps Reserves from early 2004 to late 2012 as a fight engineer, reaching the rank of corporal, based on data launched by the Defense Department. Those data additionally point out service that was unremarkable.
He did serve a tour of obligation in Iraq, in 2005, based on his mom, Cecilia Klein. She stated he by no means fired his weapon there.
At an preliminary listening to on Friday, Zia M. Faruqui, a Justice of the Peace choose in Washington, ordered Mr. Klein held till his bail listening to on Tuesday. Mr. Klein didn’t reply to a request for remark, and his lawyer, Michelle M. Peterson, a federal public defender, declined to touch upon his case.
One one who has identified him for a few years stated Mr. Klein was a loner who might be socially awkward. His mom stated nothing in his previous would have steered him succesful of becoming a member of a violent riot.
“Normal schools, decent grades, went to college,” she recalled throughout an interview on Friday. “It was all perfectly suburban.”
According to the F.B.I., Mr. Klein held a top-secret safety clearance that was renewed in 2019. Such clearances will not be uncommon for navy service members, and his LinkedIn web page says his was granted by the Defense Department. It will not be clear what obligations he carried that may have earned the clearance. The one who has identified him for years stated he appeared to conjure an air of secrecy about his navy service.
Under stress from the White House in early 2017, Mr. Klein, whose father was from Argentina and had labored on the Inter-American Development Bank earlier than his loss of life, was put in in the State Department’s Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs as a particular assistant. After Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson expanded an workplace that handles Freedom of Information Act requests, seen by many in authorities as an unrewarding outpost, Mr. Klein’s superiors transferred him there.
People who encountered him at work stated he marketed his opposition to abortion rights and help for Mr. Trump’s plans to construct a wall alongside America’s southern border with Mexico.
His social media community and postings counsel a person with deep non secular and conservative beliefs and a loathing for Democrats together with Hillary Clinton. In 2016, he posted a photograph on Facebook of himself posing subsequent to a cardboard cutout of Mrs. Clinton and pretending to seize her by the hair. In an accompanying remark, he stated he was “mocking her ugliness.”
Many of his different Facebook postings function non secular artwork and iconography, in addition to photographs of Mr. Trump. In October, he posted a video of anti-abortion protesters being eliminated by the police from the ready room of a household planning clinic as they shouted, “Mommy, stop the murder!” He additionally posted messages complaining about N.F.L. gamers refusing to face for the nationwide anthem, and different messages supporting gun rights and opposing homosexual rights.
His LinkedIn web page options an endorsement of his abilities from Eugene Delgaudio, a outstanding Washington-area conservative activist identified for his outspoken opposition to homosexual rights, together with a 2010 claim that Transportation Security Administration pat-downs had been half of a “homosexual agenda.” Mr. Klein’s mom stated her son had labored briefly for Mr. Delgaudio, who didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Mr. Klein’s account with Goodreads, a website for guide lovers, lists him as having learn a number of books about navy affairs, together with the memoir of a German World War II soldier and a biography of Erwin Rommel, a Nazi common. Also listed are a number of books about dystopian authorities and society, together with “Fahrenheit 451,” “Animal Farm” and “1984,” in addition to a historical past of America’s revolutionary founders.
Mr. Klein graduated from George Mason University in 2002, the place he studied political science. Politico earlier reported his arrest.
He advised the choose on Friday that after his arrest he had been detained in unsanitary circumstances, the place cockroaches crawled over him as he slept. Judge Faruqui advised him that the D.C. jail the place he could be held could be nicer.
In an interview, his mom, who labored in the Office of the United States Trade Representative earlier than her retirement, expressed confusion and dismay at her son’s plight, saying that he had advised her that he was “on the Mall” on Jan. 6 however “did not go in the building.”
She stated information organizations had been unfairly singling out her son as a result of of his affiliation with Mr. Trump.
“You know why they’re putting so much pressure on this. It’s because of the T-word. If he hadn’t done a stint for the campaign, no one would complain,” she stated. “This is the only one I’m aware of — besides the guy with the horns and the spear — who is getting the kind of treatment that Fred’s getting.”
She added that she was assured others like him participated in the riot.
“If you don’t think there were a few other political appointees out in those crowds, I think you’re being very naïve,” she stated.
Reporting was contributed by Katie Benner, Helene Cooper and Lara Jakes from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Susan C. Beachy contributed analysis.