Former Olympic swimmer sentenced for role in January 6 riot

December 7, 2023

ABC News reported that a two-time Olympic gold medalist was sentenced to three years in prison late last week over his role in the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. 

According to the network, 41-year-old champion swimmer Klete Keller was indicted on seven federal charges shortly after the riot took place.

Video showed Keller wearing U.S. Olympic Team jacket

Those charges included obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties, unlawfully entering Capitol grounds and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Video footage taken by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas was cited as evidence by prosecutors, and it appears to show Keller inside the Capitol while wearing his U.S. Olympic Team jacket.

Keller faced up to 20 years in prison

While the former athlete faced up to 20 years behind bars, he managed to avoid jail time by entering into an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to a single count of obstructing an official proceeding.

ABC News noted that prosecutors initially sought for Keller to be given 10 months in prison, calling his actions "unconscionable" and "a stain on this country's narrative."

However, Keller's attorney said that his client had been "suffering" since the riot and "spent years atoning for his actions" as "a flawless probationer."

Keller also wrote a letter to Judge Richard Leon earlier this year, stating, "I stand before you feeling ashamed and profoundly embarrassed."

Trump has discussed pardoning some January 6 defendants

"On January 6, 2021, I unlawfully entered the United States Capitol Building and demonstrated without permission," the swimmer acknowledged.

"I am ashamed to admit that I wanted to interrupt and influence Congress's certification of the Electoral College vote," went on before adding, "I take full responsibility for my inexcusable actions. I will accept my punishment with humility and serve my sentence in peace."

In sentencing Keller to 36 months of probation along with another six months of home confinement, Leon said there was "no question" the defendant showed remorse, stating, "If there was ever a case for probation, this is it."

For his part, former President Donald Trump has complained of the harsh sentences that many January 6 defendants have received and is pledging to pardon some of them if he is reelected.

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