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Olympic gold medalist pleads guilty in Capitol riot, will testify against other rioters

Klete Keller will also cooperate with the Justice Department and testify against other rioters.

Klete Keller Getty Images

An Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller entered a plea for his involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. On Wednesday (Sept. 29), Keller pleaded guilty to a felony charge for obstructing the Electoral College proceedings that took place earlier this year. He will also cooperate with the Justice Department and testify against other rioters.

The Olympic swimmer was arrested in January and hit with seven charges. As part of his plea deal, six of those charges will be dropped. The felony that he pleaded guilty to could lead to prison time, but his sentence could be reduced by how well he helps prosecutors.

Back in January, Keller was caught on camera inside of the Capitol while wearing his Olympic jacket. According to court documents, he was wearing a blue jacket with a “red and white Olympic patch on the front left side” and “USA” written on the back. Federal authorities were able to compare images of Keller in the Capitol to his Colorado driver’s license to confirm his identification.

Keller was part of the U.S. Olympic teams in 2000, 2004 and 2008. He won five medals — two gold, one silver and two bronze — during his three Olympic appearances.

Following the insurrection, USA Swimming, the U.S. executive body of competitive swimming, said in a statement that “while we respect private individuals’ and groups’ rights to peacefully protest, we strongly condemned the unlawful actions taken by those at the Capitol last week.”

“It is very simple and very clear,” the organization continued. “Mr. Keller’s actions in no way represent the values or mission of USA Swimming. And while once a swimmer at the highest levels of our sport — representing the country and democracy he so willfully attacked — Mr. Keller has not been a member of this organization since 2008.”

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