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As Capitol riot arrests pile up, troubling details emerge about the backgrounds of the participants

This man – Thomas E. Caldwell, 64, of Berryville, Virginia – was arrested on January 19 and charged with conspiracy and several other riot-related charges. Like the Washington Post Katie Shepherd Caldwell’s attorneys reportedly filed a rejoinder this week stating that Caldwell was an excellent veteran in the Navy with a top-secret security clearance. After leaving the armed forces in 2009, he served as the FBI director.

Thomas E. Caldwell in the January 6 uprising.

Caldwell is just one of several insurgents who have military and police connections. Six Seattle police officers are currently being investigated for being in Washington DC that day, as are a number of other police officers from across the nation. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has ordered a military-wide hiatus for all services as the commanding officers attempt to assess the extent of right-wing extremism within their own ranks, spurred on by the high number of military veterans involved in the Capitol takeover .

“The presence of law enforcement officers in the riots reinforces and reinforces the greatest public concern about the nature of law enforcement in the United States,” said Michael German, former FBI special agent and member of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and Nationales Safety program, said Shepherd.

Other participants in the Siege of the Capitol were on the news this week:

Ethan Nordean, the violent bodybuilder from Auburn, Washington who led the Proud Boys’ coordinated efforts to dismantle police barricades and facilitate the Capitol invasion, was flown to Washington, DC this week after a brief judge ordered Nordean’s release pending trial. U.S. Judge Brian Tsuchida issued an order authorizing Nordean’s pre-trial release after a morning hearing on Monday. Late that afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, Chief Justice of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where Nordean is indicted, upheld the federal prosecutor’s appeal to uphold the order and instead transport Nordean to Washington immediately . Jason Riddle, a Keene, New Hampshire man who boasted on social media for stealing a bottle of wine and a book from a Senate office, has been charged on multiple charges for his riot behavior. Prosecutors said federal authorities became aware of Riddle’s involvement after Riddle gave an interview to a Boston television station in which he admitted he walked into the Capitol because he “just had to see it” and didn’t regret it. doing so, which led several people to contact the FBI. Riddle, a former postman and former proof-reading officer, told FBI agents that he merely followed the crowd of rioters into the building, where he took and drank an open bottle of wine as he strolled across the Capitol with a red-brown leather book from an office called “Senate Proceedings”. He also told agents that he sold the book outside the building to an unknown man who bought it for $ 40. Jenny Spencer, a woman from Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, seems to offer a similar defense for her behavior – she claims she just wandered in with the crowd and then tried to walk quickly. She claims that she and her husband Christopher were forced in by the crowd to avoid being trampled – and then, once inside, they realized, “We have to get out of here.” They told investigators they were just fewer than 15 minutes in the Capitol; However, the FBI found that Christopher Spencer had streamed live videos on Facebook for more than 20 minutes, singing and yelling at the couple along with other police officers, and that the couple did not “appear to be actively looking for exits during the videos.” Greg Rubenacker, a Long Island man who works as a DJ, filmed himself smoking marijuana from a vaporizer at the Capitol and posted it on Snapchat – and was arrested by the FBI Tuesday after one of his followers forwarded incriminating screenshots to her “Holy s – t! This is history! We took the Capitol!” he said in one of the videos he posted online. Then he filmed himself smoking a steamer, blew smoke into the rotunda, looked at the camera and said, “America, baby. What a time.” William Merry Jr. of St. Louis County, Missouri, who was photographed with his 21-year-old niece with a broken piece of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nameplate, has also been charged multiple times over his role in the riot. His niece was arrested in mid-January. Merry’s lawyer claimed: “He believes he had the right to attend a rally and express his political beliefs, as we all do, but he does not condone in any way any form of violence or destruction of property or any form of insurrection the government. “Brian McCreary, 33, a Domino’s pizza delivery man from North Adams, Massachusetts, was arrested after returning to work and boasting to his staff that he“ robbed ”the Capitol phone in the Senate chambers. He won’t accused of being involved in the violence, but told investigators that he was present when Ashli ​​Babbit, a Texas rioter, was fatally shot by the Capitol Police and re-entered the building by order of the security service Karl Dresch , a man from Michigan from the Upper Peninsula who was arrested by the FBI in January, is the son of a late Republican lawmaker and faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for a crime for obstruction of official proceedings. Dresch is the son of the former Republican Lawmaker Stephen Dresch from Hancock. Bruno Cua, an 18 year old from Milton, is a bunch of charges for offenses relating to his participation in the siege of the Capitol. Georgia is one of the youngest people arrested. Cua made it to the floor of the Senate while brandishing and allegedly getting into an argument with a baton that he had used to threaten Capitol officers. Cua was a heavy user of social media outlets like Parler, TikTok, and Instagram where he’d used the PatriotBruno handle, but he deleted most of his posts after the uprising.

Archived messages from Parler show that Cua made frequent references to Trump and called on his compatriots to participate on Jan. 6.

“President Trump calls us to fight!” read a post. “It’s time to take back our freedom the old-fashioned way.”

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