FBI links 40 suspected Capitol rioters to extremist groups: Report

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

The FBI has connected at least 40 people who allegedly participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol building last month to extremist groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

At least 16 defendants were found to be members of or associated with the Proud Boys, a Western-chauvinist group, and at least five people were linked to the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group, the AP reported. A supporter of former President Donald Trump proposed transporting “heavy weapons” to members of the Oath Keepers via boat for Jan. 6, court documents said.

The Oath Keepers were preparing for the events at the Capitol for weeks ahead of the event, according to the AP. Reported extremists talked about participating in “2 days of wargames” as “combat” training for “urban warfare, riot control, and rescue operations,” court documents said.

Receipts for over $750 worth of ammunition and an invoice for a firearm made to look like a cellphone were found during an investigation at Thomas Caldwell’s home in Virginia, according to the AP. Caldwell is charged with conspiring with the Oath Keepers on Jan. 6. A judge ruled against his release last week after a prosecutor revealed that a “death list” including the name of an elected official was found by authorities at his home, the AP reported.

“These things were taken out of context!” Caldwell said, the AP reported. His lawyer argued that prosecutors lack evidence of Caldwell entering the Capitol building and said the indictment was “imaginative.” 

The FBI identified at least 11 defendants using jargon associated with the American Revolution such as “we the people,” references to “1776” and “revolution,” according to the AP.

“Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor,” defendant Peter Stager said while outside the Capitol building, the AP reported. “Death is the only remedy for what’s in that building.”

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