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Trial Begins For Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Riot Defendant Timothy Hale-Cusanelli : NPR


Prosecutors allege that Timothy Hale-Cusanelli is a white supremacist who broke into the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 with the intention of causing a “civil war.” the second time. His defense argued that Hale-Cusanelli regularly made “flamboyant” statements and used “derogatory” language, but that he entered the Capitol because of “group thinking”.

Jose Luis Magana / AP


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Jose Luis Magana / AP


Prosecutors allege that Timothy Hale-Cusanelli is a white supremacist who broke into the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 with the intention of causing a “civil war.” the second time. His defense argued that Hale-Cusanelli regularly made “flamboyant” statements and used “derogatory” language, but that he entered the Capitol because of “group thinking”.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

Editor’s Note: This story contains descriptions of offensive language, including the use of racist profanities.

Federal prosecutors said in court on Tuesday, a former Army reservist stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 with the intention of inciting a “civil war.” the second time. The defendant, Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, is the latest alleged Capitol rioter to face trial, and carries a history of what both the prosecution and defense have called “extremist” statements. The jury saw a flurry of such statements in the form of text messages Hale-Cusanelli sent before the riot in which he used slurs against blacks, anti-gay and against thugs.

Meanwhile, Hale-Cusanelli’s attorney stressed that his client’s statements should not be taken literally, that he was “despered to be heard” when he joined the riots, and did not mean to do so. interrupt the counting of the electoral votes that day.

During the trial, which is expected to last a week, jurors will have to decide which case is more convincing. On Wednesday, prosecutors plan to call Hale-Cusanelli’s former roommate, who acted as a confidential source for the government and secretly recorded Hale-Cusanelli talking about his actions on June 6. January.

Hale-Cusanelli of New Jersey, is not charged with assaulting a police officer or causing property damage in the attack. However, unlike other defendants facing similar charges, Hale-Cusanelli has been held in pre-trial detention for more than a year. A federal judge – appointed by former President Trump – found that Hale-Cusanelli posed too much danger to the public, in part because accused “white supremacist” ideology. As described in court papers, Hale-Cusanelli worked as a security guard at a Navy weapons station when he wore “Hitler’s mustache”, and told a colleague, “Hitler should have complete the work.”

Some of the January 6 defendants incarcerated in the Washington DC prison along with Hale-Cusanelli also died describe he came to NPR as a “white supremacist.” The detainees said he was known for making racist comments and claimed he had engraved anti-symbol drawings on prison boards. Hale-Cusanelli has denied that he is a white supremacist, and his attorney has denied that he painted protest paintings at the prison.

In court on Tuesday, Hale-Cusanelli wore a light purple button-down shirt with a striped tie. He shaved his head with dark hair that was cut close. He listened quietly and occasionally took notes on the day’s happenings.

The jury will not see some of the evidence prosecutors want to include about Hale-Cusanelli’s alleged “Nazi sympathizers”, such as Hale-Cusanelli’s photographs with ” Hitler mustache”. The judge, Trevor McFadden, ruled that such evidence would disadvantage the jury without shedding light on the specific crimes on which Hale-Cusanelli was charged.

However, both the prosecution and the defense said Hale-Cusanelli expressed “extreme” views. Text messages presented to the court by prosecutors show Hale-Cusanelli using overtly racist language, including multiple uses of the n-word and racist references to Vice President Kamala Harris. At one point, he expressed confidence that Democrats could steal the presidential election through “n****r fraud.”

In court papers, prosecutors described Timothy Hale-Cusanelli as a “Nazi sympathizer” who went to work at a Naval Weapons Station with a “Hitler mustache” .” A federal judge has barred the government from showing a jury certain evidence related to Hale-Cusanelli’s alleged ideology at trial. However, the jury did see racist and objectionable text messages he sent in the run-up to the Capitol riots.

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In court papers, prosecutors described Timothy Hale-Cusanelli as a “Nazi sympathizer” who went to work at a Naval Weapons Station with a “Hitler mustache” .” A federal judge has barred the government from showing a jury certain evidence related to Hale-Cusanelli’s alleged ideology at trial. However, the jury did see racist and objectionable text messages he sent in the run-up to the Capitol riots.

Judicial

Prosecutor Kathryn Fifield said in her opening statement that Hale-Cusanelli joined the first wave of riots to break into the US Capitol, and used military-style hand signals to urge other rioters. Join the crowd inside. He is said to have spent 40 minutes inside the building before heading out. Hale-Cusanelli lives and works at Earle Naval Weapons Station, where he is given a “secret” level of security and access to military weapons. With his alleged actions on January 6, prosecutors portrayed Hale-Cusanelli as a security threat.

After Hale-Cusanelli returned home to New Jersey, agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the FBI began their investigation. Investigators spoke with Hale-Cusanelli’s roommate at the base, and he agreed to secretly wear a recording device on behalf of the government and record Hale-Cusanelli. Fifield said the recording shows Hale-Cusanelli discussing how he believes “Jewish interests” control the Biden administration, and describes the Capitol riots as “just a taste of what’s to come. “

Hale-Cusanelli’s defense attorney, Jonathan W. Crisp, acknowledged in his opening statement that his client could be abrasive, describing him as “boasty”.

Hale-Cusanelli was “the guy you met that just wanted to get excited and say things,” Crisp told the jury. “Tim was very talkative. He liked to get attention,” Crisp said, and “he insulted people along the way.”

On January 6, Hale-Cusanelli traveled to Washington, DC to see former President Trump’s speech, because he wanted to be “a part of something,” Crisp said. Unlike the other rioters, who were clad in military-style combat gear, Hale-Cusanelli wore a suit and tie with a red MAGA hat.

Much of the government’s case is based on video evidence, and Crisp says the defense will have no objection that Hale-Cusanelli broke into the Capitol building on January 6.

“He was definitely in the Capitol, and ‘he shouldn’t have been there,'” Crisp said.

Instead, Crisp made an argument that Hale-Cusanelli had no particular intention of disrupting the vote counting process in Congress that day, and was caught up in “group thinking”. One of the main charges in the trial, obstructing formal proceedings, asked prosecutors to prove Hale-Cusanelli’s intent to obstruct Congress.

Following the opening, jurors heard testimony from U.S. Capitol Police Inspector Monique Moore, who described security preparations that day, as well as the ongoing turmoil as Rioters flooded the Capitol. The jury also viewed footage from surveillance cameras around the building. At one point, several jurors gasped while watching a video of an unidentified rioter hitting a police officer with a trash can.



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