THOMAS Caldwell, 65, is the alleged leader of the far-right conspiracist group the Oath Keepers.
On January 20, 2021, three Oath Keeper leaders were charged with "planning and coordinating" the Capitol riot after being seen "directing a group of 10."
Who is Thomas Caldwell?
Thomas Caldwell is the alleged leader of the Oath Keepers.
The 65-year-old Clarke County resident is a retired US Navy veteran from Virginia.
He was named in a criminal complaint as having participated in the Capitol riots by President Donald Trump’s supporters.
In late January, Caldwell was charged along with two other alleged Oath Keepers, 38-year-old Jessica Watkins and Donovan Ray Crowl, both of Ohio.
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Caldwell, Watkins, and Crowl were accused of conspiring "to forcibly storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021," prosecutors revealed.
Who are the Oath Keepers?
The Anti-Defamation League describes the Oath Keepers as a conspiracist group or extremist right-wing militia who support Donald Trump.
They label themselves as “the last line of defense against tyranny.”
"They love our nation and our way of life and they’re not afraid to stand up for our rights nor afraid to call out those who break their oaths," writes member Constable John D. Shirley.
“If you think you have a problem with the Oath Keepers, what you actually have a problem with is the U.S. Constitution."
The group believes that violent civil war in the US is imminent and hard-liner defense for Donald Trump is the solution for putting the nation back on track.
"Our POTUS will not go down without a fight,” reads a recent Oath Keepers email blast.
“He WILL NOT concede. This election was stolen from We The People. We will prevail but we need your help! Or we will lose our democracy.”
Who is the Oath Keepers’ leader?
Caldwell has been named as the group's leader, although fellow Oath Keepers members Jessica Watkins, 38, of Champaign County, Ohio, and Donovan Ray Crowl, also of Ohio, were also charged.
The New York Times has also reported that Stewart Rhodes, is the leader and founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.
Rhodes was arrested on January 13, 2022 according to the article.
The times reported that he was "charged with seditious conspiracy for organizing a wide-ranging plot to storm the Capitol last Jan. 6 and disrupt the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory, federal law enforcement officials said."
Caldwell, Watkins and Crowl are accused ofof a number of charges including conspiring against the United States and conspiring to prevent the government from discharging it's duties.
Investigators said Caldwell used Facebook to communicate with fellow members of the Oath Keepers and helped make hotel arrangements for their stay in Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors allege Caldwell helped organize a group of at least eight people, who were seen “aggressively approaching an entrance to the Capitol,” according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.
In military-grade gear, the group was seen “in an organized and practiced fashion and force[d] their way to the ground of the crowd gathered around a door to the U.S. Capitol.
He posted a photo to Facebook after the insurrection and wrote “Us storming the castle. Please share… I am such an instigator!”
Watkins and Crowl appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on January 19.
When a federal judge asked Watkins if she understood the charges against her, she replied: Watkins said: “I understand what you said. I don’t understand how I got them.”
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