The FBI announced the arrest of two Oregon brothers Wednesday in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Matthew Leland Klein, 24, and Jonathanpeter Allen Klein, 21, also participated in violent far-right protests in Salem and Portland months before they traveled to Washington, D.C.
The Kleins are the first Oregonians charged for direct involvement in the insurrection that sought to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election results for President Joe Biden. On March 19, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted the men on six charges, ranging from conspiracy to destruction of government property, entering a restricted building and obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder.
“Felony destruction of property, as charged in the indictment, is a federal crime of terrorism,” prosecutors stated in court documents seeking Matthew Klein’s detention. “The Grand Jury found probable cause ... to believe that the defendants intended to obstruct an official proceeding by committing acts of civil disorder, including unlawfully entering the Capitol grounds or building.”
The brothers were arrested by the FBI on Tuesday. Jonathanpeter Klein was arrested outside Heppner in Eastern Oregon and appeared in court via telephone from the Umatilla County Jail on Tuesday. Matthew Klein was arrested near Sherwood and also appeared in court remotely.
Both men remain in custody. On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled Matthew Klein a flight risk and danger to the community, while Jonathanpeter Klein will take up that issue before a judge in Washington, D.C., where the cases are being transferred.
The indictment alleges that Jonathanpeter Klein is a self-described member of the Proud Boys, a far-right hate group that often engages in violence at protests and played a central role in the insurrection.
On Dec. 29, the brothers reportedly purchased airline tickets using cash. They flew from Portland to Pennsylvania on Jan. 4, court documents state. The next day, they traveled to Washington, D.C.
Jonathanpeter Klein told his employer he needed time off from work because, according to court records, “he and his ‘brother’ were ‘going to a stop the steal rally in DC.’”
“Yep! Got the time off and am going with one of my bro’s. stoked af,” Matthew Klein told a friend in an Instagram message prosecutors said they obtained through a search warrant.
Court documents spell out in detail how the brothers assisted other members of the crowd on Jan. 6 in climbing a wall to gain access to the upper west terrace of the Capitol. The Kleins then entered the building, and celebrated with another member of the Proud Boys screaming, “proud of your fucking boy,” the documents state.
The Kleins then allegedly exited the building and forced open a door on the building’s north side. Seeing federal law enforcement officers on the other side of the door, prosecutors said, Matthew Klein put on goggles and advanced on the officers carrying a yellow Gadsden flag affixed to a flagpole.
“The defendants’ actions created a dangerous scenario that directly interfered with law enforcement’s efforts to secure the building,” prosecutors wrote. “That they did so as part of a second or third wave of attacks — with knowledge of the mayhem that had already unfolded at the Capitol — shows their reckless disregard for others and the danger posed by these two actors.”
FBI search warrant records from Google showed a mobile device associated with Jonathanpeter was “present at various locations in and around the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, for approximately 2½ hours beginning at 2:19 p.m.,” court documents state. Prosecutors noted they didn’t find similar records with Matthew Klein’s Gmail account but added that could be for several reasons. They added the lack of that evidence doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t in and around the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.
The FBI said it also received an undated photo from a tipster that shows Jonathanpeter Klein with his brother in an airport “showing a hand signal associated with the Proud Boys” and also wearing the same Proud Boy shirt and U.S. flag face covering as he did during a Jan. 5 rally near the U.S. Supreme Court.
The brothers flew back to Portland on Jan. 8, court documents state.
In addition to outlining evidence of their involvement in the insurrection, additional court documents filed by federal prosecutors include pages of photos and details on the brothers’ activity with the Proud Boys at protests in Oregon.
Photos in the indictment allegedly show Jonathanpeter Klein in body armor while he carried a baseball bat and paintball gun during protests that turned violent at the Oregon State Capitol on Sept. 7. During that same event, which prosecutors allege Matthew Klein also attended, Jonathanpeter Klein was recorded by multiple OPB reporters as he appeared to chase a Black Lives Matter protester.
Proud boy chases down another BLM supporter, beats them down. Police make arrests pic.twitter.com/J9YlhpoRnO— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) September 7, 2020
Matthew Klein is currently facing misdemeanor charges in Multnomah County for possession of loaded firearms at a subsequent Sept. 26 Proud Boys rally in Portland. A younger brother, Phillip Edward Klein, is also facing misdemeanor charges for carrying a loaded weapon at the same rally.
Shortly after the Jan. 6 attack, OPB was able to identify at least three people who had participated in both the insurrection and a Dec. 21 rally and break-in at the Oregon Capitol. None of those men have been arrested.