WASHINGTON—A Jan. 6 mobster who dressed as Adolf Hitler and held security clearance was sentenced to four years in federal prison on Thursday.
When he stormed the Capitol in January 2021, Army Reserve Reservist Timothy Hale Kusanelli, 32, of New Jersey, failed to convince jurors he didn’t know Congress was meeting at the Capitol. , was convicted in May. A claim he put forward to avoid conviction for obstruction of Congress.
“I know it sounds silly, but I’m from New Jersey,” Hale Kusanelli told jurors, not knowing that Congress had met in the Capitol. It sounds silly, but it’s true.”
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, the Trump-appointed judge who oversaw Hale Kusanelli’s trial, previously said the defendant’s testimony was “very questionable,” indicating he was willing to strengthen the sentence. On Thursday, McFadden said the claim that Hale Kusanelli was unaware that Congress met in the Capitol was a “outrageous lie” and a “blatant attempt” to avoid accountability. Stated.
McFadden noted that Hale Kusanelli was “perfectly aware” that Congress met in the Capitol and even told his roommates that he was outside the House on January 6. She uttered her words to a female officer on January 6, who called her an unprintable word.
Hale-Cusanelli told the judge before sentencing that he owe it to members of Congress and law enforcement to apologize.
“I defiled my uniform and defiled my country,” he said. “I say ugly things,” he said, which in many people’s eyes is “disgusting.” He assured the judge, “You’ll never see my face in court after this,” and the time spent in his cell changed who he was.
Federal prosecutors had sought six-and-a-half years in prison. Hale-Cusanelli was found guilty of all five counts, including felony obstruction of official process. However, McFadden decided that lower sentences should apply, since obstructing the Electoral College vote authentication did not obstruct “enforcement of justice.”
In the government’s sentencing memo, federal prosecutors cited Hale Kusaneri’s “well-documented history of civil war zeal and violent rhetoric,” citing his background and false statements on the stand. He argued that the statement justified a significant prison term.
“Hail Kusanelli, a history and government student who had previously explained to friends the intricacies of the presidential election process, falsely testified at trial that he was unaware that the electoral college certification process was (c) members of Congress were still there when he entered the Capitol, fleeing and hiding from the mob,” they wrote. “Hail Kusanelli lied on the stand.”
The prosecutor also said Hale Kusanelli “subscribes to the ideology of white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers that drives another civil war fervor.” The jury saw only a fraction of the government evidence on extremist views held by Hale Kusanelli, a former security contractor who previously had a “covert” security clearance.
“At best, Hale Kusaneri is very tolerant of violence and death,” the prosecutor said.
Halle Kusanelli’s attorneys said in a judgment memo for the defense that the court “regretted his actions, lamented the violence and destruction of property in the Capitol, and apologized to members of Congress, congressional staff and law enforcement.” I will.” his role in the event. ”
A government sentencing memo mentions Cynthia Hughes, Hale Kusanelli’s adoptive mother, who spoke at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month. Publicly reporting that referring to her role in the Patriot Freedom Project, prosecutors “strongly support the inference that Hale Kusanelli and Hughes used the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.” It points out the information provided. And the notoriety of the Hale-Cusanelli case — exacerbated by Hughes herself through her public and media appearances — to enrich herself. A footnote in the government memo refers to former President Donald Trump’s September 3 rally.
Hughes wrote a letter supporting Hale Kusanelli, saying, “He’s not a violent person. He doesn’t walk the streets of New Jersey like Hitler.”
Hughes appeared in court on Thursday for Hale Cussanelli’s sentencing, but did not answer reporters’ questions as he walked out with a man believed to be his bodyguard.
According to government court filings, 34 of Hale-Cusanelli’s colleagues told investigators that Hale-Cusanelli “has extremist or radical views regarding Jews, minorities, and women.” said. attending a Black Lives Matter protest with a “clipboard full of statistics” in the hope that someone would “discuss him” about racial differences. In a letter to the court, his aunt said, “There are no racist bones in his body.”
Prosecutors said it was clear Hale Kusanelli had no regrets about her actions on January 6.
“A selfish statement in court that Hale Kusanelli was wrong to enter the Capitol was given the same weight as his selfish claim that he did not know there was a parliament in the Capitol building. ought to be, i.e., nothing,” they wrote.
Despite Hale-Xanelli’s attempt to portray Hitler’s photograph as a joke, McFadden said, “The evidence suggests otherwise.” McFadden said supervisors had to consult Hale Kusanelli’s Hitler-esque mustache, saying he was hostile to racial and religious groups and described it as “sexist, racially disgusting.” It is very clear that he holds “discriminatory and anti-Semitic” views.
Hale-Cusanelli is one of more than 250 defendants convicted on January 6 and one of more than 130 defendants. A maximum sentence of 10 years in prison was handed to a former NYPD officer who beat a Washington DC police officer with a flagpole and threw him to the ground.
More than 850 defendants have been arrested in connection with the attack on the Capitol, with hundreds of arrests in the pipeline.