Olympic Swimmer Klete Keller Pleads Guilty to Storming U.S. Capitol

Olympic Swimmer Klete Keller Pleads Guilty to Storming U.S. Capitol

Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller has plead guilty to storming the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 riots.

Following the 2020 presidential election, Keller and other hardcore Trump supporters breached the Capitol while the U.S. Senate and House were certifying president Joe Biden's Electoral College win. So far, over 600 people have been charged in connection to the riots, with 90 pleading guilty.

But while most plead to misdemeanor charges, the five-time swimming medalist plead guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding before Congress, in addition to six other charges. However, the other charges will be dropped as part of his plea deal, as he's agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department in their investigation of other rioters — potentially as a star witness for the prosecution. Even so, the New York Timesreports that the felony carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

Keller was arrested shortly after the riots in January after investigators identified the 6-foot-6 athlete from his Team USA jacket. In the video footage, he can be seen moving around the Capitol for an hour while elbowing officers attempting to remove him, taking photos and videos and yelling profanities about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Within his plea, Keller admitted to doing all of the above, as well as later destroying the phone and memory card he used. He also copped to throring away the Team USA jacket that made him so recognizable.

"He's obviously trying to make amends for the terrible decision he made on January 6," his lawyer, Edward MacMahon, said during the hearing. "He's embarrassed by what he did that day and wants to make amends to the court and to the American people."

Read the New York Times' full report here.

Photo via Getty / Vladimir Rys / Bongarts