Olympic swimmer Klete Keller gets probation for Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Olympic swimmer Klete Keller gets probation for Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller was sentenced Friday to six months of home confinement over his admitted role in the Jan. 6, 2021, US Capitol riot.

DC Senior US District Judge Richard Leon also sentenced the 41-year-old former champion swimmer to three years probation and ordered him to perform 360 hours of community service.

Keller pleaded guilty in September 2021 to one count of obstructing an official proceeding.

“I have no excuse for why I am in front of you today,” Keller told Leon before receiving his sentence. “I understand my actions were criminal and that I am fully responsible for my conduct.”

Keller’s lawyers, in court papers filed last month, asked the judge to sentence him to probation and a restitution payment, arguing that his “early acceptance” in being one of the first people to plead guilty in the case warranted leniency.

Keller — a two-time gold medalist — pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding in 2021. AFP via Getty Images

The facts that Keller wasn’t at the Capitol for a long time, that he didn’t hurt anyone or damage any property and that he has not been arrested before, also supported a no-jail sentence, wrote attorney Zachary Deubler.

“Although Mr. Keller’s conduct at the Capitol was inexcusable, his behavior was non-violent—and arguably far less disruptive than many of the [other] defendants …,” Deubler wrote. “This Court should not lump Mr. Keller’s conduct in with some of the more serious offenders but instead should consider Mr. Keller’s relatively minor role.”

Meanwhile, prosecutors asked for a 10-month sentence, arguing that Keller had tried to conceal his participation in that day’s riot by throwing the jacket he wore — with an American flag on a sleeve, an Olympic team patch on the front and the letters “U.S.A.” across the back — into a garbage can and smashing his cellphone with a hammer.

Keller was seen in video storming the Capitol while wearing a Team USA jacket. Julio Rosa/Townhall.com via Storyful

“Klete Derik Keller once wore the American flag as an Olympian. On January 6, 2021, he threw that flag in a trash can,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo last month.

The hulking six-foot-six, 250-pound Keller stayed inside the Capitol for almost an hour, chanting “F–k Nancy Pelosi!” and “F–k Chuck Schumer!” and resisting officers’ efforts to remove him from the building, the feds argued in the filing.

He only departed after cops deployed Mace and other force, prosecutors added.

Keller was also allegedly seen with a group shoving cops as they forced their way into the Rotunda of the Capitol to try and halt the certification of the 2020 Electoral College result.

Keller is a five time medalist who was on a team with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. REUTERS

Still, prosecutors acknowledged that Keller turned himself in within a week of the riot, cooperated with the feds for the three years his case has been pending — providing “substantial assistance” in the process — and showed remorse for his actions.

At the time of the guilty plea, Keller’s lawyer Edward McMahon Jr. said his client was “trying to make amends for his terrible mistake … [he] wants to start his life over.”

The ex-swimmer took a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed to drop six other charges first leveled against him in February 2021 including disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building and impeding law enforcement.

Keller resigned from his job as a Colorado real estate broker following his arrest.

The lightning fast swimmer won gold medals in the 4×200-meter relay event at the Athens Summer Olympics in 2004 and repeated the feat in Beijing in 2008. He also won a silver in the same event at the Sydney Games in 2000. He also won an individual bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle event in Sydney and Athens.

Keller’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a request seeking comment Friday afternoon.

With Post wires

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