Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller, who discarded his USA team jacket after participating in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to six months of home detention. His actions caused significant devastation to American democracy.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Keller stood out among the Donald Trump supporters who breached the Capitol. He was quickly identified and later pleaded guilty to a felony charge. Keller was among the first rioters to publicly agree to cooperate with the authorities investigating the Capitol attack.
Video evidence showed Keller leading profane chants, singing the national anthem, and resisting efforts to remove him from the Capitol. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sentenced Keller to three years of probation, including six months of home detention, and 360 hours of community service. Keller expressed regret for the fear his actions caused lawmakers and the difficulty he created for law enforcement.
Despite prosecutors requesting a 10-month prison sentence, the judge felt that Keller’s time is better spent speaking to students about mistakes and how to avoid them. Keller’s lawyer explained that he discarded his jacket out of shame after an encounter with a young boy and his father on a train.
Keller has been cooperating with investigators since pleading guilty. He experienced personal and financial turmoil after his swimming career, which led to his participation in the Capitol riot. He hopes his case serves as a warning to others who consider engaging in illegal conduct, especially in moments of political fervor.
Despite his Olympic achievements, Keller’s legacy is now marred by his involvement in the Capitol riot, for which he now faces the consequences.
Source: Klete Keller Olympic Profile
Related: Capitol Riot Prosecutions