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In DC Insurrection Case Watkins Says Wore Tactical Gear Due To Fear Now In Bid For Release

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT, Feb 20 – During closing arguments of the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, insurrectionist Thomas Edward Caldwell was ordered detained until trial by Judge Amit P. Mehta. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here and below. (US v. Caldwell affidavit on Patreon here). Reference was made to Jessica Watkins, in from Ohio and tactical gear.

And now on February 20, Watkins' lawyer has filed with DDC seeking release and saying, "It is critical to separate the natural emotional response to the events on January 6, 2021, and the law as it applied to Ms. Watkins’ release or detention. There is no doubt that most people who watched what occurred on January 6, 2021 were shocked and dismayed about what they saw occurring and quickly formed opinions about the participants in the events of that day. And it is easy to assume that people dressed as Ms. Watkins was, wearing “tactical gear,” were there for bad purposes, but the Court must set aside those visceral reactions and judge Ms. Watkins by her own actions and intentions that day. The government’s motion for detention is filled with rhetorical flourishes design to inflame the passions of its readers without supporting evidence, e.g., “Watkins single-minded devotion to obstruct though violence” p.1, “this was a moment to relish in the swirling violence in the air” p. 2, and references throughout to her attire as “camouflage.” If one were truly trying to blend in for concealment reasons, military style clothing would not be the way to do that. Indeed, one can understand wearing defensive clothing given violence that has occurred at prior rallies."

  From February 12: Caldwell's lawyer Thomas Plofchan: He denies he has any death list in his house. His father did die. And there are people he was thinking of confirming that too. Maybe Mrs. Caldwell knew the election official from her job.

 AUSA: The person listed is not an elections official in the state of Virginia. 

Caldwell's lawyer: There were claims this person was arrested. Nothing suggest my client knew who she was or had access to her. Someone's in the news, someone writes notes, it doesn't create any concern. Just don't let him travel or make long distance phone calls.

Caldwell's lawyer Plofchan: I don't want to say I was Shanghai-ed, but... In terms of Oath Keepers, they are like the Guardian Angels of Curtis Sliwa. They provide security against Antifa or BLM, so they don't disrupt conservative rallies.

Caldwell's lawyer Plofchan: My client is going to say he is not a member of Oath Keepers. Nor do they have any evidence he was in the Capitol, or participated in any violence. We are going to move to dismiss the indictment. There is no agreement whatsoever.

Caldwell's lawyer Plofchan: There's no evidence of firearms. There are manifold defenses. Allow my client to be release and we can go back to his home. Is he a danger to the entire world? Tell him, stay away from DC. Let him report three times a day to Pre-Trial

 Caldwell's lawyer Plofchan: I don't know how not using the Internet would work, there is Voice Over Internet. But you could say, no Facebook, no Instagram.  AUSA: We're just pointing at what he said, about having people stationed nearby with weapons.

AUSA: It was a planned attack to interrupt the certification of Electoral College votes. These concerns cannot be addressed by checking in by phone. Detain him. Caldwell's lawyer Plofchan:  There's no evidence of weapons anywhere. There was rhetoric.

 Plofchan: Everyone else seems to have been released. Judge Mehta: That's not true. Others have been detained, by Magistrate Judges who make these judgments every day. Plofchan: I apologize. I was engaged in rhetoric. My client is different than Watkins and Crowl Judge Mehta: I am going to take a short break to think about this. I'll be back momentarily. [Thread will continue.]

Judge Mehta is back. "I have carefully considered this. Mr. Caldwell is presumed innocent. The default is release. That said, under 3142 pre-trial detention is authorized. Under (f)(2)(b), there's the question of risk of obstruction of justice.

Judge Mehta: Mr. Caldwell was deleting info from his social media accounts. He made efforts to destroy the evidence against himself and others. Is detention warranted? I am not convinced the US has shown by a preponderance that he is risk of flight. He's over 60.

Judge Mehta: Mr. Caldwell has won military medals, worked for the FBI, held national security clearances. The offenses could not be more serious: conspiring to plot an insurrection against Congress while it certified the electoral votes. This favors detention.

 Judge Mehta: He is accused of planning a military style incursion on the Capitol. He said, We may have to fight next time. Nov. 26 text message, there was planning the MAGA rally. He referred to cockroaches. In late December there was contact with the Oath Keepers

 Judge Mehta: He texted with Ms. Watkins and a Person-3 about weapons, about staying in Virginia from which he could bring weapons. On Jan 3 he engaged with a Three Percenter, about shipping weapons across the river if needed.

Judge: The concern I have about Mr. Caldwell is that he was planning with weapons. There was a receipt for a weapon. A purchase on November 22, in the aftermath of the election. And he purchased ammo. On Jan 6 it seems he didn't enter the Capitol or assault police

Caldwell: Your Honor, I beg your indulgence --

Lawyer: I need you not to speak. Judge Mehta: You need to understand what your actions --

Caldwell: These things are taken out of context!

 Judge Mehta: Let me continue. Even after witnessing what happened on the 6th, he did not express regret. He proclaimed he had a good time storming the castle. He told Mr. Crowl, Let's storm capitol in Ohio Caldwell: I didn't send that.

 Judge Mehta: I don't know what to think of this death list with the name of an election official. But let's put that to the side. He presents a continuing danger to the community and to the fabric of a democracy that we cherish. He is not a peaceful protester.

 Judge: There are no conditions or combination of condition which could assure the safety of the community. We cannot monitor his communications. He uses encrypted messaging apps.  Defense: What about no Internet? Judge: The short answer is No.

Judge: His wife was there with him. I don't think she is in a position to monitor his communications. Let's set a  date 30 days out, so March 12 at 3 pm. Time excluded under the Speedy Trial Act.

Right before it ended, Caldwell asked, "Your Honor may I speak to my counsel on an open mic so you hear what I say?"

Answer: No.

We'll have more on this.

Inner City Press live tweeted Riley June Williams on January 25, here. 

  From January 22, song here: Thread here.

 Inner City Press' John Earle Sullivan song on SoundCloud here. 


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