Oath Keepers leader Stuart Rhodes and 10 co-conspirators were charged with seditious conspiracy on Thursday for allegedly plotting “to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force” via an armed, well-coordinated takeover of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
One of the co-conspirators the Justice Department alleges helped organize teams who would transport firearms into Washington, D.C., in support of this effort is Thomas Caldwell, a 66-year-old Navy veteran and fellow member of the Oath Keepers. Caldwell appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight hours after the indictment was unsealed on Thursday.
Carlson did all he could to portray the Caldwell as a sympathetic figure, introducing him “pushing 70 and 100 percent military disabled” before Caldwell flat-out denied he did anything wrong. Carlson showed pictures of Caldwell and his wife smiling together on Jan. 6, as Caldwell professed his innocence and described his treatment as a travesty of justice that should concern every American.
“I have consistently taken the high road about this,” Caldwell said. “My wife and I are Christians. We understood there was a rush to judgement. I got arrested because somebody referred to me by my military rank: Commander Tom. That’s all they needed to put guns in my wife’s face and take me off my farm in chains. But everything they’ve said about me, and everything they said today about me, is untrue, and we can prove it.”
“We have all the faith in the world in God,” he said later. “We believe this is good versus evil. We are Christians.”
Tucker Carlson's Interview With 70 Year Old Disabled Veteran Lt Commander Thomas Caldwell On Being Charged Today With "Conspiracy To Commit Sedition"
Lt. Caldwell: "Everything that they've said about me and everything that they say today about me is untrue and we can prove it." pic.twitter.com/4pm8ieuOyr
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 14, 2022
The Department of Justice, however, doesn’t seem to agree Caldwell is the kindly old man Carlson wants viewers to believe he is. Here’s Caldwell allegedly writing that he told people to “storm the place” and “hang the traitors” as the riot was unfolding, according to a December court filing:
“Then we heard Pence fucked us. Wr [sic] had over a million oeople [sic] here. Then the lying media said Trump supporters were breaking through barricades so I said if we’re going to get blamed, might as well do it so I grabbed up my American flag and said let’s take the damn capitol,” Caldwell allegedly said. “So people started surging forward and climbing the scaffolding outside so I said lets storm the place and hang the traitors. Everybody thought that was a good idea so we did.”
The filing also includes a message Caldwell allegedly sent to another Oath Keeper about how he had “booked a hotel room” that “gives us a spot to stage materials should things go into high order.” Caldwell also allegedly wrote about a “quick reaction force” and that “we will have the goodies in case things go bad and we need to get heavy.”
There's also more about the "quick reaction force" staged at the Comfort Inn in Ballston "should things go high order."
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) December 16, 2021
Caldwell denied all of this on Thursday night. “This stuff I don’t know anything about,” he told Carlson. “I didn’t have any role in planning any of it. It’s just more hooey.”
“I can tell you I never saw any weapons nor did I talk to anybody who talked about bringing in heavy weapons and overthrowing the government, which is what sedition is all about,” he added. “It’s just plain nuts.”