WASHINGTON (AP) – A man who authorities say is the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group and helped organize a ring for other extremists and led them in the attack last month in the U.S., the Capitol has kept a top-secret security check for decades and previously worked for the FBI, his lawyer said Monday.
Thomas Caldwell, who authorities say is a leader in the extremist group, served as FBI section chief between 2009 and 2010 after retiring from the Navy, his lawyer, Thomas Plofchan, wrote in a motion calling for the judge to release him while in prison. trial.
According to the defense, Caldwell, who denied being a member of the Jury, had kept a top-secret security license since 1979, which Plofchan said required several special background checks. Caldwell also ran a consulting firm that did qualified work for the U.S. government, the lawyer said.
“On several occasions, he was examined and found to be a trustworthy man by the U.S. government, as indicated to him by granting top-secret permits,” Plofchan wrote.
Within the FBI, most section chiefs rise in the ranks of the office, and it is unclear whether Caldwell was directly employed in this position or held other positions in the office. The FBI did not comment immediately Monday night, and Caldwell’s attorney did not immediately answer questions about his client’s work.
Caldwell is one of three people the authorities called sworn guards who were accused of conspiracy last month and accused of pre-planning an attack on the Capitol. He has been locked up since his arrest at his home in Berryville, Virginia on Jan. 19.
Caldwell’s lawyer says he denies ever going to the Capitol and has physical limitations that would prevent the 66-year-old man from being forced into any building.
Caldwell’s attorney said his client had retired as a Navy lieutenant and was a “100% disabled veteran”. Caldwell suffered from complications related to a “service-related injury,” including shoulder, back, and knee problems, the lawyer said. In 2010, Caldwell underwent spinal surgery, which later failed and led to chronic spinal problems as well as a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress, according to a court submission.
The load documents show messages between Caldwell and the others about the layout of hotel rooms in the Washington area in the days before the siege. In a Facebook message to Caldwell, the others say, “I’ll probably call you tomorrow … mainly because … I like to know that the wtf plan is. You are that commander.
Authorities said the Jurors reported where the legislators were during the attack. At one point during the siege, Caldwell received a message that, according to court documents, “every member is in the capital’s tunnel”. “Shut them off one at a time,” he said.
Other messages read, “Tom all lawmakers are down in the 3-story tunnels,” and according to court documents, “through the doors of the back chamber, they look north to the left, down the hall.”
Caldwell is among roughly 200 people accused so far during the siege of federal crimes such as disrupting Congress, rioting, and assault. A special group of prosecutors is considering whether they want to raise charges of anesthesia, officials said.
He was accused of conspiracy by the Proud Boys, a far-right, male-chauvinist extremist group that seized Trump government policy. and they were accused of working together during the siege.
Richer reported from Boston.