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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge for Obstructing Congress During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Admits to Acting to Obstruct Election Certification, Disregarding Law Enforcement, and Destroying Records of Unlawful Activity

A Colorado man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

According to court documents, Klete Keller, 39, of Colorado Springs, was unlawfully inside the U.S. Capitol for nearly an hour on Jan. 6, knowing he did not have permission to be in the building and despite being told to leave. Keller admitted that, at the time he entered the building, he believed that he and others were trying to obstruct, influence and impede an official proceeding. Keller pleaded guilty this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to obstruction of Congress and agreed to fully cooperate with law enforcement in this investigation.

Keller admitted to entering the Capitol building around 2:39 p.m. on Jan. 6 through a hallway on the west side of the building. He was wearing a red, white and blue jacket with the letters “USA” on the back, as well as a light-blue neck gaiter and sunglasses. According to his plea, Keller entered the Rotunda and took photographs and videos of the surroundings. He then proceeded to the Ohio Clock Room hallway, where he stood with others and began filming law enforcement officers who were clad with riot gear and attempting to prevent the group of rioters from advancing. According to his plea, Keller yelled, “F*** Nancy Pelosi!” and “F*** Chuck Schumer!” before others began pushing forward toward the law enforcement officers.

At 2:51 p.m., Keller returned to the Rotunda, where he continued to take photographs and videos. Around 3:02 p.m., law enforcement officers entered the Rotunda to herd rioters toward the east exit. Keller did not leave. At 3:08 p.m., Keller jerked his elbow, shaking law enforcement officers off him as they attempted to remove him from the area. Keller then entered the east Rotunda doors area, where he remained with the crowd, clapping his hands and interacting with others unlawfully present, even while law enforcement officers deployed chemical irritants. Keller exited the Capitol at 3:30 p.m.

According to his plea, on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7, Keller destroyed the phone and memory card that contained the photographs and videos he recorded from inside the Capitol building and threw away his “USA” jacket.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Denver Field Offices, including the Colorado Springs Resident Agency.

In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including at least 185 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated September 29, 2021