Olympic swimmer who stormed Capitol pleads guilty to felony

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FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump scale the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. In the nearly nine months since Jan. 6, federal agents have managed to track down and arrest more than 600 people across the U.S. believed to have joined in the riot at the Capitol. Getting those cases swiftly to trial is turning out to be an even more difficult task. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Klete Keller pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge for storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot and faces 21 to 27 months in prison.

Keller acknowledged in court records that he tried to obstruct Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, brushed away officers who tried to remove him from the Capitol Rotunda and yelled profane comments about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as he stood near officers wearing riot gear.

He also acknowledged throwing away the distinctive U.S. Olympic team jacket he wore during the riot and destroying his phone and memory card containing photos and videos he took inside the Capitol.

Keller, 39, who grew up in Arizona and now lives in Colorado Springs, competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He won two golds and a silver as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay, as well as a pair of individual bronzes in the 400 free.

He pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and agreed to cooperate with authorities as part of his plea deal.

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