Thomas Caldwell Wiki
Thomas Caldwell Biography
Attorneys for a Virginia man accused of being the leader of the Oath Keepers paramilitary group that stormed the Capitol described their client as a decorated veteran and former section chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who has a “ security clearance from top secret ” since 1979.
Thomas Caldwell, who authorities say has a leadership role in the extremist group, served as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010 after retiring from the Navy, his attorney, Thomas Plofchan, wrote in a motion urging the judge to release him. jail while awaiting trial.
Caldwell’s attorney did not say in the motion where his client worked as FBI section chief and did not answer questions. The FBI did not comment either.
An arrest affidavit sworn by an FBI special agent and filed on the same day as Caldwell’s arrest describes the Clarke County resident as “believed to have a leadership role within the Oath Keepers.”
“Caldwell plotted with Donovan Crowl, Jessica Watkins and others known and unknown, to forcibly storm the United States Capitol,” the affidavit continues.
Thomas Caldwell, who authorities believes holds a leadership role in the extremist group, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010 after retiring from the Navy, his lawyers wrote in a motion
But according to documents recently filed by Caldwell’s legal team, their client is not only an upstanding citizen, they claim that the man has not been involved with the Oath Keepers.
Caldwell’s lawyers described him as a devoted husband who works on his farm, tending his livestock with his wife.
Caldwell was a lieutenant commander in the US Navy and described himself as “100% disabled,” which according to his attorneys, helps show how impractical it would seem for his client to storm the Capitol.
Caldwell suffered complications related to a “service-connected injury,” including shoulder, back and knee problems, the attorney said. In 2010, Caldwell underwent spinal surgery, which later failed and led to chronic spinal problems and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to court records.
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The defense said Caldwell has had a top-secret security clearance since 1979, which required multiple special background checks, according to Plofchan. Caldwell also ran a consulting firm that performed classified work for US government agencies, including the DEA, HUD, the US Coast Guard and US Army personnel, the attorney said.
“He has been examined and found numerous times to be a person worthy of the trust and confidence of the United States government, as indicated by granting him top secret clearances,” Plofchan wrote.
Most section chiefs within the FBI rise through the ranks of the bureau, and it is unclear whether Caldwell would have been hired directly for that position or whether he held other positions in the bureau. The FBI had no immediate comment Monday night, and Caldwell’s attorney did not immediately respond to questions about his client’s work.
Caldwell has been locked up since his arrest at his home in Berryville, Virginia, on January 19.
Donovan Crowl, 50, a former Marine, was arrested in Ohio on January 18, as was Jessica Watkins, a 38-year-old veteran and military waitress.
Jessica Watkins (left) and Donavan Crowl, both military veterans, are in custody in Ohio
The trio were charged with conspiracy and other federal charges, the first of more than 125 people arrested in connection with the Jan.6 assault to be charged with conspiracy.
The chilling details of the case included communications between the defendants and others.
“All members are in the tunnels under the capital,” the FBI quoted a message sent to Caldwell during the attack on the Capitol.
Seal in turn with gas.
Other messages referred to the legislators as “traitors” and called for “night hunts”.
The FBI collected social media posts, photos and videos to identify them as part of the Oath Keepers, which FBI agents describe as a ‘large but loosely organized collection of militias who believe the federal government has been corrupted by a shadowy conspiracy that he is trying to strip American citizens of their rights. ”
The messages included in the FBI indictment documents had quotes from the three suspects exulting in raping the Capitol, and Caldwell telling an Oath Keepers leader that he was ready to attack the Ohio capital, Columbus.
Watkins (right) is pictured with other rioters and was an organizer of militia groups
“We need to do this locally,” he allegedly sent a message. ‘Let’s (sic) storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!’
Details in the documents released offer insight into the planning and coordination behind the extraordinary attack, which apparently took law enforcement by surprise despite several warnings online.
The Oath Keepers group often recruits current and former military, police, or other first responders, such as Watkins and Crowl.
It was not immediately clear whether Caldwell has military or law enforcement experience.
The FBI said some members of Oath Keepers wore helmets, protective vests and items bearing the group’s name and motto: “Not On Our Watch.”
The FBI also said they appeared to “move in an organized and practiced manner and make their way to the front of the crowd gathered around the door of the United States Capitol.”
An affidavit filed against Caldwell claims that he was involved in planning and coordinating the Capitol rape with Watkins and Crowl.
Watkins, who allegedly called himself a commanding officer, and Crowl reportedly belong to the Ohio State Regular Militia, dues-paying members of the Oath Keepers.
In a social media post, the FBI said, Watkins pictured Crowl and called him “one of my boys.”
The indictment documents show messages between Caldwell and others about the organization of hotel rooms in the Washington area in the days leading up to the siege.
In a Facebook message from Crowl to Caldwell, Crowl says: ‘I’ll probably call you tomorrow … mainly because … I like to know what the plan is. You are the COMMANDER man.
The FBI wrote that Caldwell is believed to have referenced the leader of the Oath Keepers, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, in a Facebook message to members of the group in the days leading up to the riot.
“I don’t know if Stewie has even made his call to arms, but it’s a little late,” Caldwell wrote, according to the FBI.
‘This is one that we are doing on our own. We will connect with the North Carolina (sic) crew. ‘
The complaint reports that a male voice is heard on an audio recording near Watkins exhorting, ‘Get it, Jess,’ and that the Capitol rape is what they had trained for.
‘Yes. We broke into the Capitol today. With tear gas, all the 9. We made our way to the Rotunda. It even made it to the Senate. The news (even Fox) lies about the historical events we create today, ‘he allegedly wrote.
Watkins also posted that entry was forced through the back door of the Capitol.
Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress
Federal authorities say Caldwell also sent Facebook messages after the attack.
“The proud boys would fight with the cops and take them inside to hide,” the message from Caldwell read, according to court documents.
I broke the doors. One guy came to the floor of the house, another to Pelosi’s office. A good moment.’
Authorities said Watkins and Crowl returned to Ohio, then returned to Virginia to stay with Caldwell at his Berryville home for three days until Jan. 16.
The FBI complaint says Crowl and Watkins told police in Urbana, Ohio, that they returned to Ohio after hearing that the FBI was looking for them.
All three are charged with charges that include conspiracy, conspiracy to wound an officer, trespassing, obstruction of official business and destruction of government property.
Watkins and Crowl were being held at a county jail in Dayton after being arrested early Monday.
The Dayton Daily News reported that they had separate initial appearances Tuesday before Judge Sharon Ovington in Dayton.
Watkins told Ovington that she wanted future hearings to be in Washington and Crowl said she preferred to stay in Dayton.
When she was asked if she understood the charges against her, the Daily News reported, Watkins replied: ‘I understand them, but I don’t understand how I obtained them.
The FBI said a search of Watkins’ home found personal protective equipment and communication devices, along with instructions for making plastic explosives.