Caldwell’s attorney, Thomas K. Plofchan, says he isn’t just a retired lieutenant commander. Caldwell also had a top-secret security clearance and served as a section chief for the FBI after leaving the armed forces in 2009.
Caldwell served as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve for 19 years and retired in 1995, according to his service record. It is unclear from the records if his retirement before the typical 20-year mark was due to medical issues.
Plofchan said Caldwell worked as a section chief in the FBI from 2009 to 2010 after retiring from military service.
The FBI did not immediately return an inquiry about Caldwell’s past employment status. Caldwell’s filing, which says he was paid as a GS-12, does not explain how he could have served as an FBI section chief while also being classified at a significantly lower federal pay scale than typically comes with such a position.
After leaving the FBI, Caldwell founded a consulting firm that has done business with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Coast Guard and the Army Personnel Command.
Caldwell lives in Berryville, Va., and had been involved in local GOP politics. He was arrested on Jan. 19 2021 in Virginia on charges of conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
The government alleges that Caldwell, had “a leadership role in the Oath Keepers.” Plofchan denied that his client is a member of the Oath Keepers.