WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man from Olathe who was associated with the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys pleaded guilty to a felony charge for obstructing police in the Capitol Crypt during the January 6 Capitol riot.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia says Christopher Kuehne, 50, pleaded guilty to obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder. He’ll be sentenced on February 23, 2024.
Court documents say Kuehne conspired with other Proud Boys to disrupt the electoral college count for the 2020 presidential election, and was prepared for a confrontation with Black Lives Matter and Antifa groups.
“Be prepared not only to beat down but when you do action of violence so utterly massive that we send a message,” Kuehne said to other Proud Boys before attending a rally that preceded the Capitol riot.
During a group meeting on January 5, someone asked, “do we have patriots here willing to take it by force?”
A court document says Kuehne responded by saying he had guns with him and was ready to go.
Kuehne was outfitted in a ballistic helmet and protective gloves when he and others with his group went to the west side of the Capitol. He ignored law enforcement orders to leave after the riot started, and eventually reached the upper west terrace by climbing a wall, and went into the building through a Senate Wing door.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kuehne and others entered the crypt and moved a lectern to block officers from closing a a large metal door that would have impeded their progress further into the building.
Investigators say he deleted content from his phone related to the riot and encouraged others to do the same.
With his guilty plea to the felony count, Kuehne faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, supervised release not to exceed three years, and restitution in the amount of $2,000 to the Capitol architect.
His plea agreement says as of estimates given last October, the riots caused close to $2.9 million in damages to the Capitol.