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Defendants of inflammatory conspiracy in Oath Keepers Jan. 6 case battle prosecutors over violent messages

Washington – Featured Defendant Oathkeeper’s incendiary conspiracy trial The fired inflammatory communications prosecutor says he sent in the days surrounding the case. January 6 Attack on the Capitol He suspects he’s “stupid” and told jurors he wasn’t involved in the riots in an attempt to refute government evidence presented in court on Tuesday.

Thomas Caldwell – 1 of 5 indicted inflammatory conspiracy Currently on trial – He is trying to convince jurors in Washington, D.C. that there is no plan to block the peaceful transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to then-President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 6. The government, in its own defense, argues. He also testified that a number of painful health conditions, including chronic back and hip problems, prevented him from posing any kind of threat that day.

David Fischer, a 68-year-old Virginia resident who describes himself as “disabled to walk” because of his health, first became acquainted with the far-right Oath Keepers group in a number of cases after being questioned by his defense attorney. He said it was days later. In the 2020 presidential election, he eventually invited several people to stay at his farm before pro-Trump demonstrations in November 2020, and Washington, DC. acted as a “tour guide” for

Prosecutors suspect that Caldwell and his accomplices, including Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rose, amassed weapons in a Virginia hotel and coordinated their movements through attacks to create a peaceful force of power. Caldwell, a Navy veteran and former FBI agent, and Oath Keeper Despite being in frequent contact with the group between the 2020 election and January 6, Caldwell claims he was never a member of the Oathkeepers. Caldwell has not been charged with actually entering the Capitol.

Capitol Riot Oath Keepers
Members of the Oath Keepers on the East Front of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.

Manuel Barce Seneta / AP

The government coordinated multiple aspects of investigating Caldwell, one of the first high-profile arrests after the riots, to use boats to carry weapons from the group’s Virginia hotel base to Washington, D.C. accused of failing to do so. Caldwell and another Oath Keepers member are discussing just that topic.

“Who’s crazy fancy idea is this,” Caldwell said on Tuesday, describing his reaction to the alleged maritime plans under direct investigation from his attorney. He said he traveled to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 to see Trump speak with his wife, Sharon, who testified in court.

That day, the couple headed to the inauguration scaffolding outside the Capitol and were “taking it all in,” he testified. , some of which allegedly advocated violence against Vice President Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, and members of Congress. ”

Under cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis Manzo, Caldwell went on to explain that his violent message was merely violent rhetoric, not a call to violent action.

Prosecutors presented Caldwell with some of the most violent messages of the time, speaking on topics such as ANTIFA’s “hunt” and their ability to burn Congress to the ground. [they] wanted to”, “executed some traitors”.

Caldwell said on Tuesday that the reference to “hunting” was a euphemism for surveillance and not because the group burned down Congress because it didn’t want to, prosecutors said in a message he sent. Caldwell also said that while the comments about the traitor’s execution were “drastic”, they were made among individuals who knew not to take his violent comments seriously. claimed.

Many of the messages jurors saw on Tuesday were already part of the government’s evidence record and were presented again after Caldwell decided to testify.

Another message shown in court allegedly showed Caldwell and another man discussing on Jan. 1, 2021 that Pence wants to overturn the election results.

“If he wants to live until Friday, he better be dignified,” prosecutors claimed Caldwell replied. ‘ and said the recipient understood that it was written as a joke.

According to other messages displayed in court on Tuesday after the Jan. 6 events, the defendants called the day a “good time” and referred to an “assault” on the Capitol.

“It’s as outrageous as the accusations against me,” Caldwell countered on Tuesday. At one point, he giggled about receiving a message discussing violence against Democrats and exclaimed, “What a goof” about the creator of the message.

Despite controversy over the message and the violent language used – which he dismissed – Caldwell did not conspire against Congress, did not coordinate any of the Capitol’s violations, He claimed he was never a member of the Oathkeeper.

He was the second of five defendants currently on trial to run for office.Last week, Rhodes himself testified He said the group had no plans to actually enter the Capitol, but was instead there to provide security for the day, the Oathkeeper’s general defense during the trial.

“Our goal was to make sure no one got caught in the Charlie Foxtrot around the Capitol,” Rhodes testified last week. But prosecutors argued their evidence showed he and his accomplices were part of a months-long conspiracy to use force to keep Trump presidency. .

Prosecutors and Rhodes also debated the interpretation of the messages and communications, and his attorney previously dismissed the inflammatory and violent language as “bravado.”

The seditious conspiracy trial is now in its seventh week, with closing arguments due soon.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oath-keepers-seditious-conspiracy-defendant-thomas-caldwell-testifies-today-2022-11-15/ Defendants of inflammatory conspiracy in Oath Keepers Jan. 6 case battle prosecutors over violent messages

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