A former U.S. Olympic swimmer who won two gold medals has been sentenced for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
In Washington, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon on Friday sentenced Klete Keller, 41, to six months of home confinement and three years of probation. Though prosecutors had asked for 10 months in federal prison, they also acknowledged that Keller cooperated with the government.
Keller pleaded guilty in 2021 to one felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding. Authorities first identified the 6-foot-6-inch athlete through social media posts, where Keller was seen inside the Capitol building while wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket with the letters “USA” on the back.
This image from police body-worn video, contained in the government's sentencing memorandum and annotated by the source, shows Klete Keller in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
“Keller yelled, ‘F*** Nancy Pelosi!’ and ‘F*** Chuck Schumer!’ before others began pushing forward toward the law enforcement officers,’” a Justice Department statement said at the time, referring to Democrats’ then-House speaker and Senate leader.
After leaving the Capitol, Keller threw away his jacket, and he destroyed a cellphone and memory card that had photos of him inside the building, according to court records.
“Klete Derik Keller once wore the American flag as an Olympian,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo. “On January 6, 2021, he threw that flag in a trash can.”
Keller previously won a total of five Olympic medals, and he was a onetime teammate of swimming legend Michael Phelps.
In a letter to the court, Keller apologized for his behavior on the day of the Capitol attack.
“I am sorry about all the harm, damage, and pointless violence done on that awful day,” Keller said in part. “To everyone I disappointed when I broke the law, I apologize.”