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FBI Stringer in Oath Keepers Involved in Capitol Assault, FBI Affidavits Confirm Attack Was Preplanned

Feb. 9 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Evidence that the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol was not a spontaneous “insurrection,” but was carefully preplanned, including involvement of FBI stringers embedded in extremist groups, continues to emerge. It was previously revealed that Enrique Tarrio, national chairman of the right-wing Proud Boys, also involved in the storming of the Capitol, had been a longtime FBI informant.

Now, in a Feb. 8 posting to his Just the News blog, investigative reporter John Solomon zeroes in on the case of one Thomas Edward Caldwell, a member of the Oath Keepers, which the Justice Department describes as a “paramilitary” group. According to Feb. 9 coverage in the Washington Post, Caldwell’s attorney Thomas Plofchan stated on Feb. 8 that Caldwell, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, was an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve for 19 years, and worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010, has had a top-secret security clearance since 1979, and had done security work for the U.S. government. On Jan. 19, Caldwell was arrested and indicted along with two other Oath Keepers members, Jessica Marie Watkins and Donovan Ray Crowl, charged with conspiracy, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds.

According to FBI affidavits, the three conspired with each other to forcibly storm the U.S. Capitol, and “communicated with one another in advance of the incursion”—beginning in November of 2020—“and planned their attack.” Facebook and other social media posts from all three on Jan. 6 boasted that they had “breached the Capitol.” In one transmission that day, Watkins is quoted saying “we have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” according to a Justice Department press release Jan. 27. In a Facebook posting, Caldwell also said he was coordinating with Oath Keepers from other states.

More broadly, as Solomon reports, there are a dozen FBI affidavits supporting charges against more than 200 defendants, showing rioters engaged in advance planning on social media sites. This included training, casing sites, identifying commanders on scene, and requests for donations of cash as well as combat and communications gear. More than half a dozen of the suspects are now charged with conspiracy to commit violence for actions predating the Jan. 6 riots. Court documents identify early actions dating back to November, with planning and rhetoric accelerating after Christmas of 2020, Solomon documents.

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