Christopher Kuehne

Christopher Kuehne is an American war hero and a patriot who came to the January 6 protest carrying a Trump flag.

He is a 50-year-old father and husband, a 100% disabled Marine veteran who served multiple tours of duty and received a Purple Heart, and a hardworking family man with a pristine work ethic who started working at the age of 13. He maintains respectable employment to this day and has spent the past three years fully invested in higher education, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and now working on a second Master’s in Human Resource Management.

Christopher Kuehne was represented by attorney Marina Medvin, who explains his case below. As she stated on the record — it has been an absolute honor and pleasure to have spent the past three years representing an American war hero and a kind gentleman.

Christopher Kuehne’s Charges Explained

Christopher Kuehne was charged along with the Kansas City Proud Boys group for their participation in the January 6 protest in the Capitol Building.

Six defendants, half of whom were not members of the Proud Boys (Christopher Kuehne was not a member of the Proud Boys along with two other defendants in this group), were charged with the following offenses:

  • Obstruction of Congress under 18 USC 1512(c)(2)
  • Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States – Obstruction of Congress under 18 USC 371 and 18 USC 1512(c)(2)
  • Impeding Law Enforcement During a Civil Disorder 18 USC 231(a)(3)
  • Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building under 18 USC 1752(a)(1)
  • Disorderly Conduct in a Restricted Building under 18 USC 1752(a)(2)

(One of the defendants, a Proud Boy member, was also charged with additional assault and firearms charges, but those charges did not extend to the others in the group.)

Christopher Kuehne’s Case Result

All of the charges against Christopher were dismissed except one, to which he pleaded guilty – impeding law enforcement during a civil disorder.

The court found that when Mr. Kuehne entered the Capitol Building and assisted a Proud Boy government informant in moving a podium underneath a gate door to keep the gate up, a gate which police had attempted to close a few moments prior, the act obstructed law enforcement in the performance of their duties since the officers had wanted for that gate to remain down.

Christopher was sentenced to 75 days of incarceration, with self-surrender the following month, as well as two years of supervised release and 60 days of home confinement during that time.

Christopher Kuehne’s January 6 Story

In December 2020, the Kansas City Proud Boys began planning to go to D.C. for the scheduled January 6, 2021 protest events, in expectation of confrontations with BLM and Antifa, a neo-leftist group that was responsible for harassing conservative protesters throughout  2020 and who engaged with the Proud Boys during the November and December protest events in DC. Four Proud Boy members were stabbed on the streets of D.C. when BLM and Antifa supporters conflicted with the Proud Boys on the evening of December 12, 2020, after thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington D.C. For the January 6 events, as far as we know, the Kansas City Proud Boys were therefore expecting a similar confrontation with BLM and Antifa. 

For Christopher Kuehne, his understanding of BLM and Antifa was based on the events around the country starting in May of 2020 when these groups began harassing conservatives and burning down cities after protests throughout the country. He was aware of the dozens of deaths, assaults on police, and destruction done to U.S. cities, including the actions of the group in D.C. Mr. Kuehne’s expectations for January 6 did not include anything specific to the Capitol; his expectations were confrontations with BLM and Antifa.

On January 4, Chris traveled from Kansas to Arlington, Virginia, with Proud Boy members in his vehicle. Explaining to the group that he needs to ensure compliance with the law as his livelihood depends on his Federal Firearms License, Christopher Kuehne ensured that any firearms taken into his vehicle were properly and legally secured for their trip. Mr. Kuehne’s truckbed was equipped with locked storage for his rifle, which held a disassembled cherry-red custom rifle, secured by an additional trigger lock, which Mr. Kuehe used in his work to show off his firearm-building skills. Mr. Kuehne’s travel with this business item was not connected to his plans for Washington D.C., and the rifle remained lawfully in Arlington, Virginia when Mr. Kuehne traveled to Washington D.C. on January 6. (Agreeing with the defense’s position that the rifle is irrelevant to the case, the Judge stated at sentencing that he did not consider the rifle as part of the crime in Washington, D.C., despite the DOJ’s best efforts to convert the lawful firearm possession into something sinister.)

The men stayed together in a rented home. On January 6, he came with the Proud Boys group to Washington, D.C.. Christopher expected their group to be accosted by Antifa, for there to be a potential brawl. Instead, the group from Kansas got to D.C. early in the morning, walked around D.C. with the Trump supporters, and found its way to the lawn of the Capitol. The day then took an unexpected turn.

Those in the front of the crowd pushed the officer line back. Mr. Kuehne followed the crowd into the area previously marked as restricted.

Christopher was initially walking next to co-defendant Louis Enrique Colon. The two men encountered a man lying on the ground, appearing passed out. He was later identified as Benjamin Philips. Chris looked for EMTs and went over to EMTs to attempt to bring them to Mr. Phillips’s location, but they would not come with him. He went back to the man on the ground. On their own, Mr. Kuehne and Mr. Colon tried to help by putting Mr. Philips atop a flat fence that was on the ground. A woman started giving him CPR before the EMTs arrived and took over. Mr. Philips was later pronounced dead.

Mr. Colon and Mr. Kuehne found themselves standing next to a Kansas City Proud Boy who had identified himself to this Court as “Aaron” in the trial of United States v.  Nordean, and who was revealed during his testimony to have been a federal informant. Chris started voicing his concerns for the safety of the property inside the historic building as the people were aggressively making their way into the building. “People started pushing into there and you could hear people literally saying, ‘we’re gonna– we’re gonna fuck this place up, this is our house, we’re gonna take all this shit back,’ we’re gonna do this, that and this… so I said, ‘Hey, man, I’m gonna go in there,’” Chris recalled to the FBI during his interview following arrest. The men decided to go into the building together to help safeguard the property. 

“Aaron’s” statement to his FBI handler corroborates this intent for Mr. Kuehne’s entry.

To get into the building, they passed by a line of Capitol Police officers, who neither stopped them nor interacted with them. “Aaron” put his hands on Mr. Kuehene’s backpack and helped push him forward as they walked near the uninterested officers.

“Aaron” and Christopher waited in line, and entered the Capitol  Building through an open door at 2:25 PM, following a large group of protesters. Mr. Kuehne trailed a few feet behind “Aaron” at all times material, with Mr. Colon not far behind. 

Inside the Capitol Building, there was chaos, but Mr. Kuehne kept interacting with his cell phone and looking down. At 2:29 PM, the men arrived in front of a metal gate that was being closed. While Christopher was looking at his phone, “Aaron” was a few feet ahead and moving forward. “Aaron” ended up retrieving a podium to place underneath a metal gate that was closing downwards.  

“Aaron” asked Christopher to assist in moving it, which Chris did after putting down his phone. The two men placed it underneath the metal gate, which Capitol officers tried to close moments prior. “Aaron” later explained to his FBI handlers that the reason to move the podium was to prevent rioters from tearing it down and using the metal pieces of the gate as weapons. 

A slowed-motion CCTV video of the gate incident is available here.

Christopher observed that protesters were making a mess, some taking property and one even smoking a joint. Christopher started directing people to clean up the trash. He also helped to collect trash.

Video 1 of Christopher Kuehne cleaning trash is here.

Video 2 of Christopher Kuehne cleaning trash is here.

“Aaron” was asked by the FBI what Christopher Kuehne did inside of the Capitol, to which “Aaron” responded — “He made people pick up trash. And he helped de-escalate the standoff with cops.”

Chris also stopped an individual from breaking items inside the Capitol. “This might be your house, but you need to get the fuck out! You need not to destroy shit and you need not to take shit,” he recalled yelling at the protesters during his post-arrest interview with the FBI. Mr. Kuehne then stopped a man from smoking marijuana inside one of the offices of the Capitol Building. “There’s a dude smokin’ a joint right on that couch. So, as you walk into that office, there’s a table and on the left– I think it was a blue couch– he’s smoking a joint! I was like, ‘Get the fuck out! Now! Get the fuck out!’ Said, ‘Fuck you, get the fuck out,’” he revealed to the FBI after his arrest. 

Chris Kuehne communicated with a few officers in an attempt to figure out how to help them clear the crowd out of the building. Christopher genuinely wanted to assist. After being asked to exit the building following the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, he did so— and uneventfully exited the building. 

While Christopher’s presence inside the building was unlawful and contributed to the overall chaos of the day, it also mitigated the conduct of at least some of the others and provided at least some assistive benefit to the government as well — a level-headed member of the crowd was telling people to curb their enthusiasm and to stop trashing a national building.

After January 6, Christopher entirely disassociated from the Proud Boys and asked them to delete their communications with him. He wanted to have nothing to do with them anymore.

A few weeks later, when a member of the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys asked for Christopher to safeguard some of his firearms, Mr. Kuehne categorically refused. 

On February 11, 2021, Mr. Kuehne was arrested by the FBI. That is the date on which Mr. Kuehne made his statements to the FBI describing his activity and intents inside the Capitol.

Christopher Kuehne’s Background

Christopher Kuehne was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is the oldest brother to two younger sisters. He grew up as an active Boy Scout.

At the young age of 9, on Christmas Eve of 1981, he saved his 2-year-old sister from a burning vehicle. Chris alerted his mother that smoke was coming from the floor of the back seat of the car that she was driving. As his mother pulled over and rushed one of Chris’ younger sisters to safety, Chris, who was left in the car with his other sister, removed himself and the toddler from the car by the time their mom came back for them. Minutes later, the car was engulfed in flames. The young Christopher was awarded “The Medal of Merit” by the National Court of Honor Boy Scouts of America for saving his sister’s life, the second-highest life-saving award given by the Boy Scouts of America. 

At age 13, he began working. His first job was to bus tables at a Greek-Italian restaurant. By age 16, he moved out of his family home and began to support himself, while continuing his high school education. He lived paycheck to paycheck, working three minimum-wage jobs, as well as staying in school — Chris worked as a lead smelter, working the night shift, doing his homework on breaks, and barely sleeping; but that wasn’t enough to make ends meet, so he worked at Cracker Barrel three times a week as a grill cook and on the weekends he delivered pizzas.

In 1993, at the age of 19, Christopher Kuehne enlisted in the Marines. He spent a decade as a Staff Sergeant. During this time, he was selected as the top 1% of enlisted personnel in the Marine Corps to participate in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) to obtain a degree and commission as an Officer and Leader of the Marines.

By June of 2004, Second Lieutenant Chris Kuehne had the honor of giving the commands for the 21-Gun Salute at President Ronald Reagan’s private funeral in Simi Valley, California.  

Chris was deployed four times. Two of the deployments were for combat in Iraq, where he sustained life-altering injuries that rendered him 100% disabled.

In 2004, Christopher completed two back-to-back deployments to Fallujah. He served as a Platoon Commander in combat. In 2006, he was deployed for combat in Ramadi for a one-year tour as part of the Military Transition Team with the 7th Division of the Iraqi Army.    

While serving in Ramadi, Iraq, Christopher sustained serious injuries. An ISIS suicide bomber detonated himself 25 feet from Christopher, throwing Chris from his position and causing him to land on his head. He lost consciousness for approximately 20 minutes while he was medically evacuated. He had brain fluid in his right hemisphere and injuries to his ear, neck, nose, and ribs. One of Chris’ ribs had to be removed. He had to undergo an osteotomy, a turbinectomy, and a rhinoplasty to fix some of the damage caused by the explosion. He had full L5-S1 fusion with hardware to his spine and had a spinal cord stimulator implanted to relieve pain. He has to now permanently wear a hearing aid due to the ruptured eardrum. His left wrist is permanently injured. The impact of the blast resulted in traumatic brain injury, causing serious memory and cognitive issues; he was diagnosed with PTSD-TBI and post-concussion syndrome in 2007 and suffers serious migraines as a result. Chris also developed sleep apnea as a result of his injuries and requires the use of a CPAP machine. 

Despite his injuries, from 2007 through 2010, Capt. Kuehne was assigned to the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., as the Platoon Commander of Bravo Co. Marine Barracks 8th & I. This is a very prestigious position that fewer than one percent of Marines are able to obtain, and all candidates are hand-selected. Christopher took part in the Friday Night Parade, also termed the Marine Corps Evening Parade, the Sunset Parade at Marine Corps Memorial, and was hand-selected for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 2007. Capt. Kuehne also oversaw numerous ceremonial burial details at Arlington National Cemetery for deceased Service Members. 

Capt. Kuehne finished his career as an adjutant and Company Commander of 1st Marine Headquarters Group (1MHG) and 9th Communications Battalion. Christopher Kuehne was honorably discharged after 20 years of service in 2013.

Christopher Kuhene’s military awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (“V”), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (“V”), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Combat Action Ribbon (Iraq), Navy Unit Commendation (4), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations (2), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Serice Medal (2), Iraq Campaign Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (Iraq), Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment (4), Individual Certificate of Commendation (2), Meritorious Mast, Letter of Appreciation (7), Certificate of Appreciation, Rifle and Pistol Expert. See Defense Exhibit 1, Military Awards, Certificates, and Letters.

The injuries from Christopher Kuehne’s military career that rendered him 100% disabled are permanent and life-altering. His treatment is ongoing. The list of current ailments and treatments is as follows:

    • PTSD-TBI counseling and therapy, as well as daily prescription medications, for depression, anxiety, and mood regulation
    • PTSD sleeplessness and nightmares with daily prescription medication to control for more severe sleeplessness and nightmares
    • Botox injections and sumatriptan injections for constant and severe migraines resulting from the head injury and the PTSD-TBI
    • Nerve block injections every six months for permanent neck injury 
    • Continued cognitive and speech therapy for traumatic brain injury-related memory lapses and cognitive disorder control
    • Neurology appointments related to monitoring the traumatic brain injury-related hand tremors and suspected pre-Parkinson’s Disease symptoms resulting from brain and spinal cord injuries 
    • Required daily use of CPAP machine at night for cardiothoracic injury and ENT injuries
    • Surgically implanted L5-S1 Spinal cord stimulator for constant back pain
    • Hearing aid in the left ear from permanent hearing damage
    • Permanent damage to left wrist that required surgery and continuing treatment for the ongoing pain and discomfort
    • Left and Right Knee Surgeries, ACL Repair and subsequent arthritis and surgeries — a total of 6 surgeries completed, with additional surgeries expected 
    • Severe arthritis in both hands with daily prescription medications for the arthritis
    • Continuous back/shoulder surgeries (most recent a few months ago) required as a result of ongoing medical problems from the injuries and their resulting treatment

In 2014, Christopher married Annette. Together, they had a son named Christopher, after his father. Chris is the sole breadwinner of their household. Mr. Kuehne raises his son to be of benevolent character and urges him to commit himself to service to his country. The two Christophers are inseparable and do everything together.

In the summer of 2020, amid the Covid pandemic, Christopher was laid off from his job. He was making ends meet by designing and building custom rifles. He was searching for a new direction, and, in November, he became interested in a local group that was supposed to help protect patriots from violent Antifa groups, a group known as the Proud Boys. In January of 2021, he traveled with the group to Washington, D.C., with the intention of confronting Antifa agitators. He did not become a member or pay dues to the group and instead disassociated from the Proud Boys group after January 6. He was arrested one month later for his participation in the events in and in front of the Capitol on January 6.

For the past three years, Mr. Kuehne has been reforming his life to bring himself back to a point of pride. He has been working on two master’s degrees. He has already completed his Master of Business Administration with a 4.0 average in 2022, graduating Suma Cum Laude. He is now working on a Master of Human Resource Management degree and holds a 3.98 GPA.

Chris has also completed around 150 hours of community service during this time.


 

Best Lawyers in Virginia - Criminal Defense and DUI Law