3-Time Olympian Klete Keller Pleads Guilty to Involvement in the Capital Riots

Emma Shanahan, Staff Writer

On September 29, 2021, Klete Keller, a 3-time Olympic swimmer, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice regarding the January 6 investigations. He was originally indicted on seven charges, including obstruction, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, and civil disorder, but that number was reduced to one after he pleaded guilty to obstruction. Keller has promised to cooperate with the United States government and law enforcement agencies by helping with the ongoing investigations.

The riots at the Capitol building were instigated by former President Donald Trump when he rallied his supporters to protest the election of Joe Biden. Members of Congress had been working to confirm Biden’s victory when the tide of protestors forced their way into the building. Five people were killed during the riot, and many Capitol police were injured. Over 600 people have been arrested in the investigation so far.

In video footage of the riots, Keller was seen wearing his Team USA Olympic jacket, which made it much easier for law enforcement to track and catch him. He was also seen yelling obscenities about House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer. According to video footage, police attempted to escort Keller out of the Capital, but he refused to cooperate and yanked his arm away from the officer. It was also discovered that Keller disposed of the phone, memory card, and Team USA jacket that he had brought with him that day. Keller was arrested on January 14, 2021, the day after he was charged.

Keller has won five Olympic medals in his career. He has won two gold medals, both in relay races. His most notable win was in Athens in 2004 when he beat Australia in the 4×200-meter freestyle. Keller also led the men’s relay team, which included Michael Phelps, to victory at the Athens Games.

Prosecutors are waiting to give Keller a sentence until he has finished helping prosecutors in the investigations. His lawyer, Edward MacMahon, has stated that Keller is “trying to make amends for the terrible decision he made on January 6th” and is “embarrassed by what he did that day and wants to make amends to the court and to the American people.”