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Navy Veteran Accused of Helping Mastermind Jan. 6 Riot Worked for FBI, Lawyer Says

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

A Navy veteran accused of helping orchastrate the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol previously worked for the FBI and had top-secret security clearance, his attorney said. 

Thomas Edward Caldwell, a 66-year-old retired lieutenant commander and alleged leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 and 2010, his attorney Thomas Plofchan said in a motion urging the judge to release his client on bond, Newsweek reports.

“He [Caldwell] has been vetted and found numerous times as a person worthy of the trust and confidence of the United States government, as indicated by granting him Top Secret clearances,” Plofchan wrote on Monday.

Caldwell was arrested in Virginia on Jan. 19 on federal counts of conspiracy destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, and violent entry or disorderly conduct. He’s accused of coordinating with members of the Oath Keepers. 

The claims about his FBI service and high security clearance raise serious concerns about alleged insurrectionists’ ties to military and law enforcement.


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