The Justice Department says a former Trump State Department official violated his oath of office when he allegedly pushed against a police line in storming the US Capitol on January 6.
Federico Klein’s “actions on January 6, 2021, appear to be a considered decision to place himself above the law; not only did he demonstrate an unwillingness to follow lawful orders, but he also showed a blatant disregard for his commitments to those in authority,” prosecutors wrote on Tuesday in a new filing.
“Klein’s behavior revealed that his true allegiance lies elsewhere,” the prosecutors added.
A judge in Washington, DC, largely agreed during a court hearing Tuesday and decided to keep Klein in jail as he awaits further court proceedings on six criminal charges.
“There were enemies – domestic – directly at the heart of America’s democracy, and the person had sworn an oath, and switched sides,” Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui said.
Klein had called into the hearing from what he said was a “cinder block room” in jail. He previously had complained in court about cockroaches following his arrest.
At the time of the insurrection, Klein still worked for the State Department and held a top-secret security clearance. He left the State Department at the end of the Trump administration. He was previously a Trump campaign and presidential transition staffer, the first known political appointee to be targeted by investigators among the riot criminal cases.
Prosecutors argue Klein is dangerous because he is charged with assaulting officers – an especially egregious charge, they say, given his role in the federal government at the time.
“Despite his oath to support and defend the Constitution, Klein demonstrated his contempt for that oath, the legitimate functions of the government, and for the Constitution itself when he assaulted officers in an attempt to stop the certification of a lawful election,” prosecutors wrote to the court. “By his actions on January 6, 2021, Klein abdicated his responsibilities to the country and the Constitution.”
At the court hearing, the judge took note of Klein’s service to the country, commending him for his work at the State Department. But then, Faruqui chided him for taking a police shield during the riot.
“Unless you are a police officer, you should not be handling the tools of the trade of police officer … that demonstrates a lack of belief in the rule of law,” the judge said, finding that Klein could be a danger to the community.
The judge also said he believed the threat against Congress continued to exist – and that the only reason there hasn’t been another attack on the Capitol is because there is a military barrier protecting the building, said Faruqui, who sits in a courthouse next to the barrier and within eyesight of the Capitol.
This story has been updated with details from Tuesday’s hearing.
CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz contributed to this report.