Olympic Gold-Medal Swimmer Klete Keller Charged in Connection With Capitol Breach

January 13, 2021 Updated: January 13, 2021

Klete Keller, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer from the University of Southern California, was charged in a U.S. District Court in Washington, court documents show.

According to court documents (pdf), a photograph appeared to show the red and white Olympic patch on a jacket worn by Keller. Officials identified Keller in the group that entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, using video footage, while journalists spoke to more than a dozen people who identified Keller in a video that circulated on Twitter.

“Second, Colorado state records and publicly available information list Keller’s height at 6 feet, 6 inches tall, and [the individual in the video footage] appears to be one of the tallest individuals in the video depicting individuals in the Rotunda,” said a special agent from the FBI in the court documents.

The agent also wrote that it is “a crime to willfully and knowingly utter loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress.”

The U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sarah Hirshland issued a statement on Tuesday, saying she condemns the group that breached the U.S. Capitol building.

Hirshland did not address claims that Keller’s Olympic medals should be taken away. Keller won five medals, including two gold medals.

“At home, and around the world, Team USA athletes are held to a very high standard as they represent our country on the field of play and off. What happened in Washington, D.C., was a case where that standard was clearly not met. The people involved attacked the very fabric of the democracy we all proudly represent and, in turn, also let our community down,” according to Hirshland’s statement.

It’s not clear if Keller has a lawyer.

Keller got medals in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics. He swam relay with other swimmers Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Peter Vanderkaay during some of the events.

The Colorado real estate company that had employed him for the past three years, Hoff & Leigh, told the New York Times that Keller had resigned.

“Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law,” the company said.