Sep 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ex-Olympian pleads guilty in Capitol riot case as part of plea deal

Klete Keller

Klete Keller. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

American swimmer Klete Keller, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, pled guilty in federal court Wednesday to a single charge in connection to his appearance at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as part of a plea deal, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: Keller, who faced seven federal charges for participating in the Capitol riot, pled guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the six other charges, per CNBC.

The big picture: The charge Keller pled guilty to has an estimated sentencing range from 21 to 27 months in prison; a sentencing date has not been set, CNBC reports.

  • Keller, who competed at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, has agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors in their investigation and may be called to testify in other proceedings, per NBC News.
  • The former Olympian was identified by former teammates and coaches as being among the rioters after a video circulated on social media showing the 6-foot-6-inch swimmer towering over a crowd that was pushing and shoving police officers.

What they're saying: “At the time, I acted to affect the government by stopping or delaying the Congressional proceeding, and, in fact, did so,” Keller wrote in a statement of offense, per the Los Angeles Times.

  • “I accomplished this by intimidating or coercing government personnel who were participating in or supporting the Congressional proceeding," he added.
  • Keller's attorney, Edward MacMahon, told the judge Wednesday that Keller "is trying to make amends for his terrible mistake," per NBC News.
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