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U.S. prosecutors: Former FBI official, Navy intel officer 'key figure' in Capitol breach

Federal prosecutors say Thomas Caldwell plotted months in advance, working with self-styled militia groups including Proud Boys.

Published: February 12, 2021 7:47am

Updated: February 12, 2021 7:56am

U.S. prosecutors alleged Thursday that a former FBI official and Navy intelligence officer before the Jan. 6 Capitol breach organized a group of trained fighters and was in contact with self-styled militia groups including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, making him a "key figure" in the federal probe into the incident.

The revelations emerged as prosecutors asked a federal judge to detain Thomas Edward Caldwell, pending trial, according to The Washington Post.

The allegations appear to provide further evidence that the deadly siege was coordinated and planned months in advance. A police officer and one person who breached the U.S. capitol building died as a result of the siege, as Congress attempted to certify the 2020 presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden.

Prosecutors allege the 66-year-old Caldwell used his military and law enforcement experience to plan an assault weeks ahead of the siege – including possible snipers and ferrying a cache of weapons along the Potomac River. 

Caldwell, of Berryville, Va., is charged on counts of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, trespassing, destruction of government property, and aiding and abetting, The Post also reports.

The prosecutors in making their case to keep Caldwell behind bars alleged he hosted members of the Oath Keepers at his Virginia home and messaged such groups.

Caldwell’s lawyer, Thomas K. Plofchan Jr., didn’t address the new allegations in the government brief when reached by the Post but reasserted his client’s innocence. 

He also said the  prosecutors didn’t address the two issues pending before the court – whether his client is a flight risk or a danger to the community.

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