Ex-Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller pleads not guilty to charges from U.S. Capitol riot

Ryan Young
·2-min read

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller pleaded not guilty to seven charges on Tuesday for his alleged participation in the riots at the U.S. Capitol in January, according to USA Today.

Keller, 38, appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington virtually. He and his attorney declined to comment further, and he is next due to appear in court on April 6.

Keller indicted on 7 charges from riots

Keller was indicted on seven different charges from the Jan. 6 riots in Washington, including for knowingly and unlawfully entering and remaining in a restricted area, interfering with official government business, engaging in disorderly conduct to disrupt a session of Congress and interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder.

He was recognized by an FBI agent due both to his height and the Team USA jacket that he was wearing at the Capitol. He also had several social media posts supporting former President Donald Trump before his accounts were disabled.

Keller turned himself into authorities in Colorado nine days after the riots, and was released without bond. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

Keller was allegedly one of countless violent pro-Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day in an effort to somehow overturn the results of the presidential election. At least 140 police officers were injured in the attacks and five people, including an officer, died. Trump was later impeached by the House of Representatives for his role in inciting the attack — which marked the second time he was impeached during his time in office.

Police are still investigating the attacks, and said they have opened an investigation into whether members of Congress gave visitors access to the Capitol ahead of time — something several lawmakers have raised concerns about, according to The New York Times. The FBI also found contact between a member of the far-right Proud Boys and a Trump associate beforehand, per the Times.

Keller won a gold medal twice in his career with the 4x200-meter freestyle relay alongside both Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He won a silver medal and two bronze medals in his career, too, and retired in 2008. He was working as a commercial real estate agent in Colorado.

Former Olympian Klete Keller
Klete Keller was one of hundreds of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol in January, and was recognized in part by the Team USA jacket he had on. (AP/Thomas Kienzle)

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