National Security

Man charged in Capitol riot says he worked for FBI, holds top secret security clearance

Julia Nikhinson

A man who was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot claims he’s worked for the FBI and holds top security clearance.

An attorney for Thomas Edward Caldwell, 66, made the revelation in a court filing on Monday arguing for Caldwell’s release from detention pending trial.

“He has held a Top Secret Security Clearance since 1979 and has undergone multiple Special Background Investigations in support of his clearances,” Caldwell’s attorney wrote.

Caldwell, a Navy veteran, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010, and he also ran a consulting firm that performed work for several U.S. government agencies, his attorney wrote.

The Hill has reached out to FBI for comment. 

Police arrested Caldwell  an alleged leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group  on Jan. 19 and he is currently facing four federal charges, including conspiracy to commit an offense and obstruction of an official proceeding at the Capitol. It’s the first conspiracy charge filed in connection with the riot.

The FBI accused Caldwell of helping organize a group of people who were seen in video footage wearing military gear and “aggressively approaching the Capitol.”

The bureau also said that he sent a Facebook post from inside the Capitol, which read in part, “Us storming the castle. Please share. Sharon was right with me! I am such an instigator! She was ready for it man! Didn’t even mind the tear gas.”

Caldwell has denied being a member of the Oath Keepers. 

Police have arrested more than 200 people in connection with the riot that resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.

The House impeached former President Trump last month for inciting the riot, and his trial in the Senate began Tuesday, though he will likely be acquitted.

Tags Aftermath of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol Capitol breach Capitol riot Donald Trump Oath Keepers

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