WASHINGTON — A Jan. 6 rioter who dressed as Adolf Hitler and has a security clearance is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Thursday.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of New Jersey, who was an Army reservist when he stormed the US Capitol in January 2021, was convicted in May after failing to convince a jury that he did not know Congress was meeting at the Capitol, in claiming he stood down to avoid being convicted of obstruction of Congress.
“I know this sounds stupid, but I’m from New Jersey,” Hale-Cusanelli told jurors when he said he didn’t know Congress was meeting at the Capitol. “I feel like an idiot. It sounds stupid, and it is.”
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, the Trump-appointed judge who oversaw Hale-Cusanelli’s trial and will rule, said his testimony was “highly suspect” and indicated he was open to a sentence adjustment.
Federal prosecutors are seeking 6½ years in prison. Hale-Cusanelli was found guilty of all five charges he faced, including a felony charge of obstruction of justice.
In the government’s sentencing memo, federal prosecutors cited Hale-Cusanelli’s “interest in the Civil War and his well-documented history of violent rhetoric” and argued that a substantial prison term was warranted for his proven background and false statements.
“A student of history and government who had previously explained the intricacies of the Presidential election process to his colleagues, Hale-Cusanelli falsely testified in court that he did not know that: (a) ‘Congress’ sat in the Capitol building; (b) the College Leaving Examination. “The election was underway in the building; and (c) when he entered the Capitol, the members of Congress were still there, fleeing and hiding from the group,” they wrote. “Hale-Cusanelli lay down on the stand.”
Prosecutors also said that Hale-Cusanelli “adheres to White Revolutionary and Nazi-Sympathizer ideologies that lead to his enthusiasm for the Civil War.” The jury saw only a small portion of the government’s evidence of the extremist views held by Hale-Cusanelli, a former security contractor who once held the “secret” of security.
“Hale-Cusanelli, at best, is very tolerant of violence and death,” prosecutors said. “What Hale-Cusanelli was doing on January 6 was not activism, it was a prelude to his civil war.”
Hale-Cusanelli’s attorney said in a defense filing that the court will hear from Hale-Cusanelli “that he regrets his actions, is sorry for the violence and property damage that occurred at the Capitol, and apologizes to members of Congress, Congressional staff.” , and law enforcement. his share of events.”
The government’s sentencing memo refers to Hale-Cusanelli’s adopted aunt, Cynthia Hughes, who spoke at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania this month. The memo mentions her role in the Patriot Freedom Project, a group that supported the accused Jan. and the reputation of the Hale-Cusanelli case — which Hughes herself exacerbated in her public and media profile — to enrich themselves.” A footnote in the government memo noted former US President Donald Trump’s Sept. 3 rally.
Hughes wrote a letter in support of Hale-Cusanelli, saying he is “not a violent person; I don’t walk around the streets of NJ looking like Hitler.”
Although federal court filings noted that 34 of Hale-Cusanelli’s employees told investigators that he held “extremist or extremist views related to Jewish people, minorities, and women.” ; that he attended a Black Lives Matter protest with a “poster full of statistics” in hopes that someone would “discuss” racial differences; and that he and two other people were arrested 12 years ago for allegedly using a “potato gun” that read “CLEAR IS RIGHT,” his aunt said in a letter to the court that “was not on his body.” racist bone.”
Prosecutors said it was clear that Hale-Cusanelli was not remorseful for his actions on Jan. 6.
“Hale-Cusanelli’s own statements in court that he was wrong to enter the Capitol and that he was sorry that he did should be given the same weight as his own claim that he did not know Congress was in the Capitol building. – to say, none,” they wrote.
His sentencing is set for 10:30 a.m. ET.
Source : www.nbcnews.com