Nazi sympathizer and Military reservist who stormed the Capitol sentenced to 4 years in Jan. 6 case

WASHINGTON — A Jan. 6 rioter who has dressed up as Adolf Hitler and held a safety clearance was sentenced to 4 years in federal jail throughout a listening to on Thursday.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of New Jersey, who was an Military reservist when he stormed the U.S. Capitol in January 2021, was convicted in Might after he didn’t persuade jurors that he didn’t know that Congress met on the Capitol, a declare he made on the stand to keep away from a conviction for obstruction of Congress.

“I do know this sounds idiotic, however I’m from New Jersey,” Hale-Cusanelli informed jurors when he mentioned he did not know Congress met on the Capitol. “I really feel like an fool, it sounds idiotic, and it’s.”

U.S. District Decide Trevor McFadden, a Trump-appointed choose who oversaw Hale-Cusanelli’s trial, beforehand mentioned the defendant’s testimony was “extremely doubtful” and indicated that he was open to a sentencing enhancement. On Thursday, McFadden mentioned that the declare that Hale-Cusanelli did not know Congress met on the Capitol was a “risible lie” and an “apparent try” to keep away from accountability.

Decide McFadden mentioned Hale-Cusanelli “completely knew” that Congress met on the Capitol, noting that he had even informed his roommate that he was exterior of the Home of Representatives on Jan. 6. McFadden additionally mentioned he was “appalled” by Hale-Cusanelli’s language to a feminine officer on Jan. 6, through which he known as her an unprintable phrase.

Hale-Cusanelli informed the choose forward of his sentencing that he had owed members of Congress and regulation enforcement an apology.

“I disgraced my uniform and I disgraced the nation,” he mentioned. “I do say ugly issues” which might be “repugnant” within the eyes of many, he mentioned. He assured the choose that he would “by no means see my face in court docket after this” and that the time he spent in solitary confinement had modified who he was.

Federal prosecutors had sought 6.5 years in jail. Hale-Cusanelli was convicted on all 5 counts he confronted, together with a felony cost of obstruction of an official continuing. McFadden discovered, nonetheless, {that a} decrease sentencing vary ought to apply as a result of interfering with the certification of the Electoral Faculty vote didn’t qualify as interfering with the “administration of justice.”

In a authorities sentencing memo, federal prosecutors referred to Hale-Cusanelli’s “enthusiasm for civil struggle and his well-documented historical past of violent rhetoric” and argued that vital jail time is warranted due to his background and his false statements on the stand.

“A pupil of historical past and authorities who had beforehand defined the intricacies of Presidential election process to his associates, Hale-Cusanelli falsely testified at trial that he didn’t know that: (a) ‘Congress’ sat within the Capitol constructing; (b) the Electoral Faculty Certification Continuing was happening within the constructing; and (c) when he entered the Capitol, members of Congress have been nonetheless there, having fled and hidden from the mob,” they wrote. “Hale-Cusanelli lied on the stand.”

Prosecutors additionally mentioned Hale-Cusanelli “subscribes to White Supremacist and Nazi-Sympathizer ideologies that drive his enthusiasm for an additional civil struggle.” The jury noticed solely a fraction of the federal government’s proof of extremist views held by Hale-Cusanelli, a former safety contractor who beforehand had a “secret” safety clearance.

“Hale-Cusanelli is, at greatest, extraordinarily tolerant of violence and dying,” prosecutors mentioned. “What Hale-Cusanelli was doing on January 6 was not activism, it was the preamble to his civil struggle.”

Hale-Cusanelli’s lawyer mentioned in a protection sentencing memo that the court docket will hear from Hale-Cusanelli “that he regrets his actions, deplores the violence and property destruction on the Capitol, and apologizes to members of Congress, congressional workers, and regulation enforcement for his half within the occasions.”

Image: Timothy Hale Cusanelli
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli.U.S. District Court docket

The federal government sentencing memo refers to Hale-Cusanelli’s adoptive aunt, Cynthia Hughes, who spoke at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania this month. The memo mentions her function with the Patriot Freedom Venture, a gaggle that has supported Jan. 6 defendants, and factors to publicly reported data that prosecutors say “pretty helps an inference that Hale-Cusanelli and Hughes have used the January 6 assault on the Capitol and the notoriety of Hale-Cusanelli’s case — which Hughes herself has exacerbated by way of her public and media appearances — to counterpoint themselves.” A footnote within the authorities’s memo mentions former President Donald Trump’s rally on Sept. 3.

Hughes wrote a letter in assist of Hale-Cusanelli, saying he “just isn’t a violent individual; he doesn’t stroll across the streets of NJ wanting like Hitler.”

Though authorities court docket filings famous that 34 of Hale-Cusanelli’s co-workers informed investigators that he held “extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish individuals, minorities, and ladies”; that he attended a Black Lives Matter protest carrying a “clipboard stuffed with statistics” in hopes somebody would “debate him” about variations between races; and that he was arrested with two others 12 years in the past and accused of utilizing a “potato gun” bearing the phrases “WHITE IS RIGHT,” his aunt mentioned in a letter to the court docket that there “just isn’t a racist bone in his physique.”

Prosecutors mentioned it was clear Hale-Cusanelli isn’t sorry about his actions on Jan. 6.

“Hale-Cusanelli’s self-serving statements at trial that he was fallacious to enter the Capitol and that he was sorry that he did ought to be given the identical weight as his self-serving claims that he didn’t know Congress was within the Capitol constructing — which is to say, none,” they wrote.

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