Americus man charged in crimes related to violence at the Capitol, US Attorney says

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(Courtesy: Twitter)

AMERICUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia announced that a man from Americus faces charges for his involvement in the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

William McCall Calhoun, 57 of Americus, appeared in a Macon federal court on Jan. 15 facing charges of entering a restricted building or grounds, violent entry or disorderly conduct, as well as a charge for tampering with a witness, victim or informant, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A signed affidavit by Special Agent Ryan E. Genry of the FBI details the investigation that led to the charges filed against Calhoun. Genry has served an FBI Special Agent since 2018 and is currently assigned to the Atlanta Field Office, Albany Resident Agency of the FBI.

According to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a call to the FBI National Threat Operation Center on Nov. 12, 2020 identified Calhoun as a lawyer in Americus who had made threats on social media platforms.

The caller told the FBI that “Calhoun had posted a message encouraging people to storm Washington D.C. and peacefully protest while openly carrying firearms.”

The U.S. Attorney says those messages were read to the FBI by the caller and “purportedly” included:

a. “some of you will live long enough to be exterminated with extreme prejudice”;
b. “it’s going to be hard to buy a beer when Democrats are being shot on site [sic];”
and
c. “we are going to kill every last communist who stands in Trump’s way”

On Jan. 6, Special Agent Genry was provided with a video that Calhoun had posted on Facebook of himself inside the U.S. Capitol, kicking off the investigation into Calhoun.

Genry’s affidavit, which cites his social media accounts throughout the report, says that “Calhoun posted a message with the video: ‘After we had forced our way in but before the cops were rout…'”

The FBI then obtained more messages and images from Calhoun’s social media accounts which revealed evidence that Calhoun intended to, and did, travel to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the election results, which “he believed to be fraud” and his plans “to ‘storm’ the Capitol.”

Genry’s affidavit says that Calhoun posted to his Parler account on Dec. 29, 2020 about the importance of being in Washington on Jan. 6, with the post reading:

On Jan. 5, Calhoun posted to his Parler account that he was heading to Washington.

On Jan. 6, Calhoun posted a photograph from outside the U.S. Capitol about getting inside the building.

Around Jan. 6, Genry’s affidavit says Calhoun had also posted a message to Facebook about pushing through a police barricade at the Capitol and swarming Congress., reading:

Calhoun’s message to Facebook also talked about getting into U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office. Another message posted by Calhoun detailed how the crowd had “took control of the Capitol Building in a hand to hand hostile takeover.”

A photograph posted by Calhoun to Facebook was captioned “The rotunda of the Capitol, occupied by the People in a hostile takeover, Jan. 6.”

Genry says Calhoun admitted to participating in the Siege at the Capitol, which was reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a Jan. 8 article.

The AJC’s reporting went back through Calhoun’s posts on social media, quoting from an October 2020 post where Calhoun said “we’ve got to get serious about stopping them by force of arms.”

Based on his investigation, Genry’s affidavit concludes that there is probable cause to believe Calhoun violated several laws, including:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a) – knowingly enter or remain in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so…
  • 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2) – enter or remain on the floor of either House of Congress or in any cloakroom or lobby adjacent to that floor, in the Rayburn Room of the House of Representatives, or in the Marble Room of the Senate unless authorized to do so pursuant to rules adopted, or an authorization given, by that House…
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) – obstruct, influence, or impede any official proceeding–to include a proceeding before the Congress–or make an attempt to do so.

As a result, Genry requested that a warrant be issued for Calhoun’s arrest.

Read the full, signed affidavit and document from the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia:

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