Federal prosecutors charge three in Capitol attack, alleging coordination began in November
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that three people connected with a paramilitary organization called the Oath Keepers have been indicted for conspiring to obstruct Congress and other charges in connection with the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
"Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, and Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, both of Champaign County, Ohio; and Thomas Caldwell, 65, of Clarke County, Virginia, were indicted today in federal court in the District of Columbia on charges of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1512, 1361, and 1752," according to a DOJ press release. "According to the charging documents, Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell communicated with each another in advance of the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion on the U.S. Capitol and coordinated their attack," the release also notes.
"According to the indictment, the three defendants initiated their communications and coordination in November 2020 and continued through on or about Jan. 19, 2021, when Caldwell was arrested. The exchanges vary in topics from a call to action to logistics, including lodging options, coordinating calls to discuss the plan, and joining forces with other Oath Keeper chapters. On Dec. 31, 2020, Caldwell posted, “THIS IS OUR CALL TO ACTION, FREINDS! SEE YOU ON THE 6TH IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ALONG WITH 2 MILLION OTHER LIKE-MINDED PATRIOTS.” In a subsequent post on Jan. 2, 2021, Caldwell stated, “It begins for real Jan 5 and 6 on Washington D.C. when we mobilize in the streets. Let them try to certify some crud on capitol hill with a million or more patriots in the streets. This kettle is set to boil…”
Watkins shared a video in which she was in the Capitol—the video included the caption: “Yeah. We stormed the Capitol today. Teargassed, the whole, 9. Pushed our way into the Rotunda. Made it into the Senate even. The news is lying (even Fox) about the Historical Events we created today.”
In a Facebook post Caldwell wrote: "We are surging forward. Doors breached[.]"
The FBI obtained audio of Watkins and others speaking on Zello during the Jan. 6 episode. The DOJ said that the indictment alleges that Watkins in a recording said, "We have a good group. We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan."
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